Sport Flanker Wells eyeing Wallabies selection
The gap is not as big as New Zealanders like to think
After a tough start to the Trans-Tasman competition, most Australians are conceding the next World Cup already. The record of 18 defeats over four rounds has led many to conclude that Australian rugby has no hope against the best, but the gap isn’t as big as it seems. There has been a clear improvement from Australian sides as the Trans-Tasman tournament progresses and a few young stars have been unearthed. The Brumbies and Reds have each tasted success now and both the Force and Rebels pushed their opposition all the way in Round 4.
Michael Wells can thank the Waratahs for a low-ball contract that changed his rugby mindset and helped him earn selection in the Wallabies squad for next month's France series.
Wells won NSW forward of the year in 2018 but rather than a contract upgrade the Waratahs offered him a base-level deal, which the loose forward said was a "sting".
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bit of a sting; it obviously dents your pride a bit," the 28-year-old said.
Rather than blame the Waratahs, Wells used the burn to reflect on what he could do better.
Wallabies great's passionate selection plea
Drew Mitchell has pleaded with Rugby Australia to consider players for Test selection even if they have signed deals overseas.
Wells then moved on to the Melbourne Rebels and this season hit his strides as one of their most consistent performers, rewarded with his Wallabies call-up.
A former Australian under 20s representative, Wells admitted he thought senior selection might have passed him by.
"Potentially I thought that but I just worried about playing the best that I could at the Rebels and thought that if I could string games together and do my job better it could get rewarded with higher selection," Wells said.
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Now that he is in the squad which assembled on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, Wells said he would be going all out to earn a spot in the side for the first Test at the SCG on July 7.
11 uncapped players in Wallabies squad
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named 11 uncapped players, with two new hookers, in a 38-man squad for next month's Test series against France.Michael Hooper has returned from Japan to captain the side, with the first Test to be played in Sydney on July 7, followed by Melbourne and Brisbane - the entire series to be completed in just 11 days.
At blindside flanker he will be competing with Rob Valetini, Rob Leota, Lachie Swinton and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.
"I want to hit the ground running and do everything I can to push for selection," he said.
"You're not here to make up numbers, you're here to make a difference so I'm not here to enjoy being a squad a member.
"I definitely want to push the guys who have played games and do everything to put my hand up for selection."
Swinton's fate rests with a SANZAAR judiciary hearing on Thursday night when the NSW flanker will fight a dangerous tackle charge that could rule him out of the three-Test series.
Swinton was sent off during the match, although Wallabies coach Dave Rennie deemed it only worthy of a yellow card.
His NSW teammate, centre Izaia Perese has been officially ruled out, requiring surgery after dislocating his shoulder in their final round Super Rugby Trans-Tasman match.
Wallabies' White out of France series .
Rugby Australia are hopeful the first Test against France can be played in Sydney, but the Wallabies will be without injured veteran halfback Nic White.Queensland's Tate McDermott is now set for his first Test start after two matches off the bench, while Brumbies No.9 Ryan Lonergan is likely to make his debut.