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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 -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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