CANBERRA - World Cup winning fly-half Stephen Larkham has urged the Wallabies to pick his understudy Matt Toomua in the No.10 jumper for the June internationals against France.
With incumbent Test and Reds fly-half Quade Cooper out for 16 weeks with a shoulder injury, the five-eighth spot has become a two-horse race between the Brumbies' Toomua and the Waratahs' Bernard Foley ahead of today's 32-man squad announcement.
Larkham believes Toomua deserves the nod after playing for the Wallabies at both No.10 and No.12 across the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour last year.
"In the Rugby Championship he (proved) he is a world class five-eighth," the Brumbies' head coach said.
"Even if Quade was there, I think Matty should be in front of him anyway."
Larkham added that because of the limited preparation given for the three-Test series against France, it was not only important to stick with tried and tested performers — but proven combinations.
"They need to make sure combinations are either there from previous Wallabies tours or Super Rugby," he said. "And I'd suggest that you'd have to go with current form of Super Rugby, which would indicate a strong combination from the Brumbies."
That means Larkham would like to see Christian Lealiifano next Toomua at No.12, and then Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre.
Not to mention Nic White at halfback.
Also on the fringes of Wallabies squad selection for the Australian conference leading Brumbies' backs will be Pat McCabe, Jesse Mogg and Robbie Coleman.