Wallabies hint at Petaia position change as they look to 'grow skill sets'

Fri, Aug 6, 2021, 1:44 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies assistant coach Scott Wisemantel has spoken to media via Zoom from Auckland.

Wallabies assistant coach Scott Wisemantel has hinted at moving Jordan Petaia to fullback as they look to create multi-positional players.

Petaia will make his return via the wing to the Wallabies set up after overcoming a quad injury.

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However, Wisemantel has revealed the 21-year-old has ambitions to move to fullback, creating extra depth and competition in an-already crowded back-three.

Whilst he reaffirmed Tom Banks will stay at the back for the foreseeable future, he believes it would allow Petaia to become very valuable for the future.

“It’s good to have him back. There’s a lot of heat and competition in that backfield but Jordy’s openly stated that he wants to play fullback,” he told reporters on Friday.

“If we can get him in-shape where he can play wing, fullback, 13, he becomes a very versatile player.

“Tommy’s (Banks) is doing a great job there at the moment so we’re happy with him there.”

Wallabies assistant coach Scott Wisemantel has spoken to media via Zoom from Auckland.

This reflects the greater need for multi-positional players according to the attacking coach in the Wallabies set-up.

When Toulon back Duncan Paia'aua was called into the side as a shock selection, Rennie was quick to stress his ability to cover a variety of positions across the backline.

With a bevy of primarily specialist wingers in the squad such as Daugunu, Wright and Vunivalu, Wisemantel pointed to the All Blacks bench to emphasis the importance of having players who can cover the backline.

“What we need to do is grow the skill sets of players,” he believes.

“When you look at New Zealand and their bench, there are guys that can cover two or three positions and that’s what we need to do.

“We need to grow our players so they are not just specialists, they‘re very good in their chosen positions but they can also play multiple positions.”


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