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Wallabies great Joe Roff says Ewen McKenzie is building Wallabies' back line around Matt Toomua

Matt Toomua gives some tips to children at a Wallabies fan day in Circular Quay on Thursday.

Matt Toomua gives some tips to children at a Wallabies fan day in Circular Quay on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

All the focus is on Kurtley Beale's shock selection at fly-half, but ACT Brumbies legend Joe Roff thinks Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is building his back line around inside-centre Matt Toomua.

World Cup winner Roff also backed Australia to end its Bledisloe Cup drought, which stretches back to 2002 when it was last held on this side of the ditch.

Normally at fly-half for the Brumbies, Toomua has established himself at No.12 for Australia, while Beale has made the opposite positional switch from his Super Rugby team NSW Waratahs, where he spent the season at inside-centre.

Beale's move prompted New Zealand coach Steve Hansen to fire a barb across the Tasman speculating Beale was picked in the starting XV to ensure he didn't defect to rugby league.

But Roff felt the decision was more centred around Toomua and his unique skills as a playmaker, with his physicality setting him apart from other No.10s.

"It's in Ewen that we trust that these are the right combinations. The calibre of player is still out there, it'll just be interesting to see how they combine," Roff said.

"I think they'll go well, they're both naturally gifted.

"Matty Toomua's now a world-class player and you can build a back line around him, so I think Ewen's probably doing that in many respects and getting the people around Matt that will create opportunities.

"The way the Wallabies are playing they're probably interchangeable, but his great skill is he has the physicality of a 12 ... whereas a lot of the other more classical 10s probably don't."

Roff is the inaugural chairman of the Canberra Vikings, who will begin their National Rugby Championship campaign next Saturday at Viking Park.

But he made his name as a powerful outside back for both the Brumbies and Wallabies.

He was in France when Australia last won the Bledisloe in 2002, but played when the Wallabies won it the previous year.

Roff felt it was time for the fabled cup to return to Australia, with two home games and the momentum from the Waratahs' Super Rugby championship proving the difference.

"I think there's no one in the [Wallabies] side that's ever held the Bledisloe Cup ... but it feels as though the opportunity's there this year and I think it's going to be a mouth-watering series and one that Australia can win," he said.

"Psychologically I think [the Waratahs' win was] very important. NSW beat a Crusaders team with 13 All Blacks in it, it builds momentum.

"The thing about this Bledisloe series is it will come down to those turning points in a match where the one per centers or last-minute plays [are the difference] and to have the success of Super Rugby gives the team and individuals confidence to take those moments."

While the Brumbies bowed out of the Super Rugby race in the semi-final, going down to the Waratahs, Roff hoped the Vikings could go a couple of steps further in the NRC.

He was confident the ACT rugby community would put aside local rivalries and get behind the Vikings. 

Roff supported the new rules, like potential eight-point tries and reducing penalties and drop goals to just two points, and was confident they would result in attacking rugby.

But he was not confident the International Rugby Board would introduce any changes, even if they were successful.

"The game needs to continue to evolve and be exciting," Roff said.

"It's incredibly healthy around the world, but it's most challenging here in Australia because we compete with so many other codes.

"I think [the IRB] will observe them [but] I don't have a huge amount of confidence – given the minimal rule changes we've had since before I was playing – that too many of them will be taken on board.

"But there was a time when tries were three points."

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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