CANBERRA - Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua is applying some reverse psychology to his eagerly awaited Super Rugby comeback.
Coach Jake White and former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones have been among those to predict a breakout year for the 22-year-old, who missed all but three matches last year due to a knee reconstruction.
The Australian No.10 jersey has been worn by many in recent years and an opportunity is there for both Toomua and fellow Brumby Christian Lealiifano - who have both been on the cusp in the past - to stake their claim ahead of the Lions tour and the Rugby Championship.
But Toomua is treating his selection at five-eighth over Lealiifano to start the year with modest caution and is deliberately avoiding dreams about a Wallaby debut.
"In the past it's very easy to look at stuff like that but I played three games last year and the year before not many more," Toomua said.
"I'm going to concentrate on playing more games and I think this will season will be better if I can get at least in double figures in terms of games. I know it's a cliche, but that's all I'm worried about."
Toomua started at five-eighth in the Brumbies' opening round 24-6 win over Queensland in Canberra on Saturday night - pushing fellow comeback kid Lealiifano to inside centre.
However, Toomua refuses to get ahead of himself despite a promising start against the Reds.
Australia midfielder Pat McCabe is due back from a neck injury within a month and Toomua says he's on borrowed time in the starting line-up unless he can seize his chance.
"I'm definitely under no illusions. Having Patty out probably helps my situation. It's good having Christian there because I know he's every bit as good as any other No.10 in Australia and he keeps me honest."