Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is confident his team’s young fly-half, Noah Lolesio, can do a job for Australia in their upcoming Bledisloe Cup Tests.
Despite being out of action for two months with a torn hamstring, Lolesio returned to action in Saturday’s Super Rugby AU Final against the Reds in Canberra and played a leading role in the Brumbies’ 28-23 triumph.
The 20-year-old delivered a man-of-the-match performance after contributing 13 points in the win courtesy of two conversions, two penalties and a drop goal, and also set up a try for Andy Muirhead.
Lolesio’s fine performance vindicated McKellar’s brave decision to start him in their most important match of the season.
“It’s easy to reflect and say that it was an easy decision,” McKellar told AAP.
“As I said during the week, for four months he hadn’t played before the Rebels game (in round one of the AU competition) and he fronted up that night and we were confident he’d do the same again tonight. “He was one of our best players.”
Lolesio has been included in Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s 44-man squad and, asked if the young pivot was ready to wear Australia’s number 10 jersey against the All Blacks next month, McKellar said: “Like we’ve done here, if you surround him with experience, a good forward pack, which they’ll have the Wallabies, a good scrum, lineout, maul and he can play, if you get on the front foot he’s very dangerous.
“He’s certainly good enough and age goes out the window.”
A member of the Australia’s U20 squad that reached the Junior World Cup final in 2018, Lolesio is backing himself to make the step up if tossed into the Bledisloe Cup arena.
“To be honest, I don’t really think about age when I’m on the field,” he said.
“Off the field, I’m probably a bit young.
“But on the field, I’m sure you just want a five-eighth that just knows his role and leads the boys around.
“So I just want to do my job.”