Brumbies Bank on Tom to recapture attacking brilliance in Kiwi test

Brumbies Bank on Tom to recapture attacking brilliance in Kiwi test

Tom Banks forced his way into the Wallabies squad with some attacking brilliance, but the livewire fullback will be aiming to end a personal New Zealand drought on Saturday night.

ACT Brumbies attacking weapon Banks will play his first game in almost a month in the clash against the Wellington Hurricanes, despite spending the past three weeks on Wallabies duties.

Tom Banks has never scored a try against a New Zealand opponent.

Tom Banks has never scored a try against a New Zealand opponent.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

The 24-year-old has scored four tries in the past three Super Rugby games, but is yet to taste victory or cross the line for a five-pointer in his five trans-Tasman matches.

Banks was the Brumbies' most dangerous player in their return to form in South Africa and he played so well he convinced Wallabies coaches to make him an understudy to Israel Folau.


"Banksy had a lot of belief, a lot of confidence and played with freedom [before the Super Rugby break]," said Brumbies coach Dan McKellar.

"I'm sure he learnt plenty in the Wallabies camp being exposed to the best players and some of the best coaches. He's just got to come back now, slot in and continue what he was doing because his attacking game was in really good shape."

McKellar also hoped referees and television match officials would make "commonsense" decisions after controversy plagued the Wallabies series against Ireland and New Zealand's matches against France.

Folau was suspended for one match after an aerial contest, causing major uproar given the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs star was trying to win the ball.

"I think you've just got to have some commonsense and consistency. And understand you play in a collision sport," McKellar said.

"Every now and then accidents are going to happen. Israel didn't go into that contest to injure anyone. We don't want to take away the contest and physicality that makes rugby the game it is."


Meanwhile, McKellar has spoken with Brumbies winger Chance Peni about playing with controlled aggression when he makes his return from his fourth suspenion in 13 months.

Peni was hit with a six-week ban for a lifting tackle in Canberra club rugby last weekend.

"I was with Chance when he faced the judiciary on Monday night. It's disappointing. He's shattered," McKellar said.

"One of Chance's strengths is that he's a physical player. He's an in-your-face sort of player and you don't want to take that away. He's just got to control his aggression."


Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Brumbies: 15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Andy Muirhead, 10. Christian Lealiifano (c), 9. Joe Powell, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. David Pocock, 6. Tom Cusack, 5. Blake Enever, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Folau Faingaa, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Richie Arnold, 20. Darcy Swain, 21. Matt Lucas, 22. Wharenui Hawera, 23. Lausii Taliauli.

Hurricanes: 15. Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14. Julian Savea, 13. Jordie Barrett, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Ben Lam, 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9. TJ Perenara (c), 8. Gareth Evans, 7. Sam Henwood, 6. Reed Prinsep, 5. Sam Lousi, 4. Michael Fatialofa, 3. Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 1. Toby Smith. Reserves: 16. James O'Reilly, 17. Chris Eves, 18. Marcel Renata, 19. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20. Blade Thomson, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Ihaia West, 23. Wes Goosen.

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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