Rory Arnold is taking Adam Coleman’s ferocious lead as he pushes for a return to the Wallabies’ starting side for Saturday’s Test against Italy at Suncorp Stadium.
Arnold is keen to restore his impressive second-row combination with Coleman from last year, having come off the bench in Australia’s last two matches.
His bruising 40-minute effort in replacing Sam Carter against Scotland was one of the few highlights for the team and could see him elevated after Wallabies coach Michael Cheika flagged multiple changes in response to the shocking 24-19 defeat in Sydney.
“I’ve done a couple of alright things off the bench,” Arnold said.
“It’s up to Cheik, if he wants me to stay on the bench to finish the game or if he wants me to start. I’ll take any opportunity he gives me.”
Arnold and Coleman, who have both played 11 Tests, were among the finds of the year for the Wallabies in 2016 as Cheika handed debuts to a flood of next-generation players.
Coleman, 25, is now Australia’s top lock and arguably one of the country’s most important players.
His relentless workrate, abrasive tackling and general physicality are qualities Cheika wants to see more of from the Wallabies and Arnold is not ashamed to admit he is trying to copy his teammate’s output.
“I enjoy playing with Adam. We had a couple of good games together,” he said.
“There’s always a bit of niggle around Adsy in a game.
“At the moment he’s carrying himself really well on the field.
“He likes that physicality, he likes throwing his body around. If you look at all the good locks in the world, they do that and do it well.
“That’s why he’s starting in the Wallabies at the moment – because he’s physical, big and likes to carry.
“I’m looking at what he does and seeing if I can bring that off the bench.”