Dom Shipperley says he’s a better player than when he last played for the Wallabies and he’s hoping for a chance to prove that.
The Melbourne Rebels’ flyer played three Tests in the Rugby Championship in 2012 when he was with the Queensland Reds.
With the Rebels out of the finals race the 24-year-old has two remaining chances to push his case for a recall to the Test arena, starting with the AAMI Park clash with the Bulls on Saturday afternoon.
“Looking back at the year that I played, as a footballer I’m a lot more well-rounded now,” Shipperley said.
“Back then I was purely a winger and I scored a lot of tries that year and that was what got me into the (Wallabies) squad but now I feel like my work-rate and all-around contribution to the team is a lot higher.”
But Shipperley believed that in 2012 he benefitted from a winger injury run, called in to replace Drew Mitchell for his first cap.
“I think there’s a lot of players now who are capable of playing but it’s something I’d like to pursue,” he said.
“No one has really dominated the competition in Australia but it depends on what kind of player selectors want but I’ll put my hand up.”
Shipperley, who is back to his best following a sickening ankle injury last year, says the last two games are important to the side as well as for personal ambitions.
“It’s an opportunity to finish the season well,” he said.
“We are disappointed with how we’ve gone the last two weeks and we feel like we’re a better side than where we are at the moment.”
If veteran Tamati Ellison is ruled out with his ongoing groin problem, Shipperley will likely start in the centres rather than on the wing.
He said it was where he felt his future lay.
“I haven’t played a lot at centre but really enjoyed it this year as you’re more in the thick of it so I enjoy the challenge,” he said.
“Being able to cover a couple of options makes you a more valuable selection rather than a specialist winger so it’s something I’ll look to cultivate over the next couple of years.”