A chink in Ben Te’o’s armour has already been identified by the Wallabies ahead of the rugby league convert’s potential Test debut for England on Saturday night in Brisbane.
Ex-NRL player Te’o is considered a strong chance of being named at inside centre 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 former Queensland State of Origin star could be found out on the international stage.
“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.”
Te’o is believed to have returned to training on Tuesday after being rested on Monday.
It will be full circle if he makes his international rugby debut at Suncorp Stadium, his former home ground with NRL club Brisbane.
The South Sydney premiership winner was born in New Zealand and moved to the Gold Coast at age 17 but is eligible to wear the Red Rose thanks to his mother’s English heritage.
He signed for Premiership club Worcester late last year, following a successful switch to rugby with Irish outfit Leinster in 2014.
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.”
One player the Wallabies know can step up to international level is 115kg Maro Itoje.
The star forward has already been touted as a future England captain after just four Tests.
The 21-year-old has been floated as the starting blindside flanker in the opening Test.
“The kid can play – he’s got some game,” Grey said of reigning European Player of the Year 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.
“(England coach) Eddie (Jones) and (assistant) Paul (Gustard) have got a lot of confidence in him on the field and he’s shown that through his play.”
If Itoje is picked at blindside flanker, former captain Chris Robshaw will lose his No.6 starting spot.