Former Queensland State of Origin star Ben Te’o will be in the Wallabies’ sights if he runs out for England in the opening rugby Test at Suncorp Stadium.
Ex-NRL star Te’o is considered a strong chance of making his debut in the centres for the tourists, capping a remarkable rise since quitting rugby league in 2014.
Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey paid tribute to Te’o but believed the convert could be found out on the international stage due to his limited time in the code.
“He’s a great talent. He provides a really good strong ball carrying centre,” Grey said.
“He’s certainly on the sharper end of the queue in terms of being across what his strengths and weaknesses are.”
Asked what his weakness was, Grey said: “His time in the game.
“He’s been playing for a number of years now, but obviously taking that step up and playing international level is a big step.
“Everything gets tested at a higher level – you’ve got less time, less space.
“Your skills and execution under pressure is the hardest thing to replicate.”
Grey baulked when asked if they would target Te’o.
“You are soothsaying a little bit there,” he said.
“Guys can step up to that level pretty quickly.”
Asked if the Wallabies were preparing for Te’o to play, Grey said: “We are preparing for everyone.”
One player the Wallabies know can step up to international level is 115kg Maro Itoje.
The star lock forward has already been touted as a future England captain after just four Test caps.
The 21 year old has been floated as starting blindside flanker in the opening Test.
“The kid can play, he’s got some game,” Grey said of Itoje.
“He’s a good physical presence on the field.
“And he’s been consistent. At international level consistency is probably the hardest thing to maintain.”