Rugby News

Rugby-Lolesio eager to get on park, soaking in all the experience

WELLINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Uncapped Australian flyhalf Noah Lolesio enjoyed being able to put his feet up for the first three days of isolation in New Zealand but is now itching to learn as much as he can from more experienced team mates.

The Wallabies were released from strict isolation on Tuesday to begin training for their Bledisloe Cup matches against the All Blacks next month, although they remain in a biosecure “bubble” in Christchurch to reduce risks of coronavirus infections.

Lolesio is hotly tipped to make his debut in a pressure-cooker environment against the All Blacks, having proved his credentials while helping the ACT Brumbies to the Super Rugby AU title earlier this month in his first game back from injury.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar gave him the nod of approval after the final and Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has indicated the 20-year-old could be his starting flyhalf by repeatedly stating “if you’re good enough you’re old enough”.

“If they choose me to start I’ll be happy to take that role,” Lolesio told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.

“Wisie (backs coach Scott Wisemantel) and Dave have been awesome, they’ve just said, ‘be yourself, be the best version you can be’.

“That’s what’s got me here so I’m going to try to keep doing that, but not overplay my hand too much.

“I’m really looking forward to testing myself against the best players in the world.”

While Lolesio may have the inside running to start against the All Blacks, the uncapped Will Harrison is also in the squad while the versatile and experienced Matt Toomua and James O’Connor have both played flyhalf this season.

Lolesio said he had roomed with O’Connor in their training camp in Australia and both he and Harrison sought out advice from the more experienced duo.

“We definitely ask what they reckon first,” Lolesio said.

“They’ve both got 50-plus caps, so we definitely ask them for advice.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Kim Coghill