Michael Cheika has challenged one-cap Wallabies lock Adam Coleman to “make a name for himself” and grab the opportunity he says incumbent Rob Simmons has let slip.
Coleman will start alongside Kane Douglas in the second row for Saturday’s second Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand – the fifth lock combination fielded by Australia this year.
It comes after the All Blacks picked apart the Wallabies lineout during last week’s 42-8 drubbing in Sydney, prompting Cheika to dump chief play caller Simmons, recall Scott Fardy from the bench and give Coleman a second bite at international rugby.
Coleman, 24, made his Wallabies debut off the bench in Australia’s third Test defeat to England back in June and now gets the chance to make the position his own.
“It’s a big deal for him, he’s coming up against some pretty handy players,” Cheika said.
“But I back him, he’s a very good young player and this will be the start of something for him.
“It’ll be also a chance for him to make a name for himself.
“We’re trying to find that (lock) combination, obviously.
“That’s up to players to stand up and say ‘this is the position I have, I want to keep it’.”
Simmons, meanwhile, has been dropped by Cheika for the second time in three months, this time banished to the National Rugby Championship to find some form.
The 27-year-old will make his NRC debut for Queensland Country against the University of Canberra on Saturday.
“He’s clear on the criteria we’ve spoken about,” Cheika said.
“Now it’s someone else’s opportunity. His (next) opportunity won’t come until he gets to play a bit of footy.”