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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."

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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