Brumbies fullback Tom Banks bolts into Wallabies squad

The Qantas Wallabies train at Brumbies HQ in Canberra ahead of The Rugby Championship Test match against Argentina at GIO Stadium. Tom Banks. Photo: Stuart Walmsley/RUGBY苏州夜网.au ACT Brumbies and Wallabies flyer Tom BanksACT Brumbies fullback Tom Banks has bolted into the Wallabies training squad after Dane Haylett Petty was ruled out for the season following bicep surgery.
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Banks was a Super Rugby unknown before arriving in Canberra 10 months ago after two seasons with the Queensland Reds where he played two games.

The 23-year-old made 10 appearances for the Brumbies this year, including a breakout performance against the Port Elizabeth Kings in South Africa.

Banks showed blistering speed off the bench before dislodging Aidan Toua as the Brumbies fullback and started in their quarterfinal against the Wellington Hurricanes.

Wallabies assistant and former Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham gave Banks his Super Rugby opportunity and told The Canberra Times Sport Podcast the youngster had earned his call up to the national squad.

“He had a pretty fantastic Super Rugby season, he came to us pretty fresh at the end of last year and really impressed the coaches during preseason,” Larkham said.

“I came back in January and I could understand why they were so hyped up about him, he had a really good work ethic and got on really well with the players and had exceptional speed.

“We saw that speed later in the Super Rugby season with him carving up a few teams and playing some really good football, so it wasn’t me prodding the selectors, it was his stand alone performances which allowed him to be selected.”

Banks featured in the Canberra Vikings home win against Perth Spirit on Sunday and with the Wallabies playing Argentina in the capital this week Larkham admitted Banks was the obvious choice but added he’s a genuine future Wallaby.

“We’re not just bringing him in to fill numbers, yes he’s certainly in the right place at the right time with the Vikings playing here… but on the back of his NRC and Super Rugby form he’s earned his spot in this training squad,” Larkham said.

“Whether he gets a game this year we’ll have to wait and see but we’ll be keeping a close eye one how he goes at training this week.”

The Wallabies have snubbed Brumbies skipper Sam Carter for 20-year-old Reds lock Lukhan Tui after Kane Douglas returned to Brisbane in search of NRC minutes.

Carter, 27, started in two of the three June Tests but was left out of the Rugby Championship squad in favour of Queensland 21-year-old Izack Rodda.

Tui has played just 13 Super Rugby games but was part of the Wallabies June squad and Carter’s second row partner at the Brumbies Rory Arnold said it was a reflection of the resurgence of n locks.

“Two or three years ago in that second row spot we didn’t have much depth there and you look at it now with all the young locks coming through it’s something that n rugby is slowly getting their depth back in,” Arnold said.

“Absolutely I’m looking over my shoulder with all these young bucks pushing through for selection and Lukha has had a great year with the Reds and I’m sure he’ll be putting his hand up for selection this weekend.

“Carts is here in Canberra as well so we’ve got great depth in the country at second row at the moment.”

Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore rejoins the squad following the birth of his third child, while NSW Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu returns to the NRC.

Tickets for the Wallabies clash against Argentina are available through Ticketek.

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