Gordon prepares for Italy clash as he reflects on scrumhalf competition

Tue, Nov 8, 2022, 3:58 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies travelled to Paris to face France in their second Spring Tour game of the 2022 campaign.

Jake Gordon is preparing for his chance to shine for the Wallabies against Italy as the scrumhalf rotation continues.

Dave Rennie flagged the Waratahs skipper would start in Florence before the France Test, having used Tate McDermott (Scotland) and Nic White (France) in the opening two Tests of the series.

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“Me and Dave (Rennie) had a conversation at the start of the tour and he mentioned he was giving us a crack across the first three games so I’m really excited for the opportunity against Italy,” Gordon told reporters.

“I made my debut here (in 2018) so I have pretty fond memories…I remember when ‘Chiek’ told me, it was a mix of nerves and excitement, I thought I’d get a few minutes but wound up starting the game.

“Playing for the Wallabies has always been the dream, I know that’s the cliché but to do that and have a good win was awesome.”

Gordon and White shared the duties throughout the Rugby Championship, with Ryan Lonergan solidified as the fourth option via his stint with Australia A.

It continues the competition for spots within the squad, pushing each player to be better ahead of next week's clash with Ireland where Rennie will likely roll out his strongest squad

“The competition is pretty red-hot at the moment,” Gordon said. “Nic and Tate both played really good games against the French and Scot.

"I’m pretty familiar with (rotation), me and Nick Phipps did that a bit. We’ve got a luxury that we have really good halfbacks in this country and are desperate to play footy.

“…That stuff is out of my control, I need to focus on playing well this week and whenever decision Dave makes, so be it.”

Gordon also gave an insight into the responsibilities of the scrumhalf that misses out on the 23 on gamday.

“Nines and tens are really involved with gameplan and strategy, their pretty across the detail and have a great Rugby knowledge,” Gordon explained. “So what they do is have one of us deliver good messages and know what they are talking about and then two that can just stay involved in the game and read it well and deliver messages back to the box if they see something happening.”

Unlike the opening Tests of the tour, the Wallabies have opted to base themselves in Florence early, with Gordon taking positives out of the heartbreaking defeat.

“It takes a little bit but obviously everyone is still a little bit disappointed by the result,” he admits.

“We dominated a lot of the game and we definitely were in a position to win it. There were definite positives from that game.

“I think that length of the field try ‘Rens’ will be pretty happy with...to do that against a team of that quality is impressive.

“To match their forward pack as well, I thought we did a great job. It was just disappointing to let in slip in that final five minutes but definitely seeing the positives in that game.”

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