Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg at training on Monday night. Photo: Melissa AdamsBrumbies fullback Jesse Mogg wants to play his way into Robbie Deans’ squad in his next two Super Rugby games, but not if it means he’s a ”one-Test Wallaby”.
Mogg wasn’t in the initial 25-man Wallabies squad announced last Sunday, but there are still six spots available for next month’s British and Irish Lions tour.
Two years ago Mogg wasn’t even on the Brumbies’ radar and now a stunning start to the 2013 Super Rugby season has rocketed him into international contention.
Last week Brumbies coach Jake White was relieved Deans didn’t pick Mogg, saying his development would be better served playing for his province.
It’s something Mogg was also mindful of – he doesn’t want to get picked too soon.
Whether he’s selected to play the Lions or for the Rugby Championship or European spring tour later in the year, the 23-year-old wasn’t fazed.
He wants to play international rugby when he’s ready.
”I’m still learning the game, I’m still learning what we want to do here at the Brumbies,” Mogg said.
”Although one of my goals is to one day play for the Wallabies I’d rather not rush it and get out there and be a one-Test Wallaby.
”I really want to play for the Wallabies for a lot of Tests.”
Mogg’s chances may have been hurt by a shoulder injury suffered in South Africa.
Before that he was clearly the best Australian fullback.
He missed three games and struggled to find his rhythm and confidence on his return, culminating in a poor game against the Crusaders.
But he has returned towards his best over the last fortnight.
Mogg’s cause wasn’t helped by code-hopper Israel Folau’s recent form.
”In that Highlanders game, my first week back, I didn’t do as much as I’d previously been doing, but I thought I turned that around against the Reds and had a few runs there and I haven’t really injured it again since,” he said.
”It’s just about finding that form that I previously had and I think it’s coming along.”
Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua was also omitted from Deans’ squad but he was less ambitious.
His sole focus was on the Brumbies’ push to end an eight-season play-off drought stretching back to the 2004 championship win.
Toomua felt the Rugby Championship or spring tour were more realistic goals to make his international debut.
”If I am going to have the chance of being in the Wallabies squad it would be later in the year when they try a few other things, but even that’s not certain,” he said.
His focus was on beating the Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
Toomua, wearing a compression bandage on his calf, said he would be fit to play and didn’t think there were any injury concerns to come out of Saturday’s win over the Blues.
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