ACT Brumbies fullback Tom Banks will get a chance to launch a last-minute bid for a spot on the Wallabies’ tour of Europe when Test selection goes on the line in an exhibition match in Sydney.
Banks and Brumbies skipper Sam Carter were named in the Alan Jones’ Barbarians squad to play against the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium on October 28.
It will be the final match before the Wallabies start a four-Test trip to Japan, Wales, England and Scotland.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has thrown down the challenge to Barbarians players to prove their worth, saying he will delay announcing a tour squad until after the match.
Banks looms as a bolter after being called into the Wallabies training group last month and enjoying a breakout Super Rugby season in Canberra.
Carter is also trying to force his way back into Test contention after being left out of Cheika’s squad for the Rugby Championships.
“Banksy has come a long way from the pre-season and we really saw what he could do towards the end,” Carter said.
“I’ve got no doubt he’s ready for this next step up. There are a lot of blokes who have a chance to show what they’ve got in this game against the Wallabies.
“Everyone who is in contention or wants to show they’re in contention is going to do everything they can to stick it to the Wallabies players in their position.”
Jones, who led to grand slam glory in 1984, was a mentor to Carter’s father, David, when he was starting his rugby career.
But Jones will now take charge of a young group of forgotten Wallabies who are trying to show Cheika what he’s missing.
Sam Carter will play for the Vikings on Sunday. Photo: Rohan Thomson
“You play to win and we will be playing to win, there is no mistake about that,” Jones said.
“We have an obligation to the players when we’re bringing them from all over the world to make sure that they understand we’re fair dinkum. There has been a bit of a tradition where the Barbarians is a bit of a holiday and there’s plenty to drink and so on.
“That would be doing a disservice to the tradition of the Barbarians and also to the people who are coming through the turnstiles. We don’t want any Nick Kyrgioses playing for us here.”
Quade Cooper will captain the Barbarians side while Brumbies recruit Isi Naisarani and former Western Force captain Matt Hodgson will also play.
Giant lock Richie Arnold could be set for a confusing showdown with his twin brother, Brumbies second-rower Rory Arnold, for the first time in their careers.
Richie will play for the Barbarians while Cheika could call on Rory for the game as he fights to keep his spot for the spring tour.
Carter is trying to reignite his international career after falling out of favour with Cheika and being dropped from the Test squad after a mid-year series.
The 28-year-old will return from a two-week break to play for the Canberra Vikings against the Sydney Rays at Viking Park on Sunday.
He will then turn his attention to the Barbarians game and trying to earn a spot in the second-row rotation.
“The beauty of these types of games is that it gives guys a chance to prove they can handle international rugby,” Carter said.
“I remember I played against the Barbarians in one of [Cheika’s] first games for the Wallabies and I got to play for the Barbarians last year.
“I’m really excited. It’s a chance to get out in front of a big crowd. It’s a hell of an experience.”
Barbarians 24-man squad: Anaru Rangi, Andrew Ready, Augustine Pulu, Chance Peni, Eto Nabuli, George Moala, Isi Naisarani, Jacques Potgieter, Kane Koteka, Luke Jones, Matt Hodgson, Matt Philip, Michael Ruru, Pek Cowan, Quade Cooper, Richard Arnold, Sam Carter, Sam Greene, Sam Ward, TanielaTupou, Taqele Naiyaravaro, Theo Strang, Tim Nanai-Williams, Tom Banks.