Recent regular match play has in-formJake Gordon confident he can handle the rigours of Test rugby, if he makes his Australia debut in the next two weeks.
After a number of appearances in extended Wallabies squads, the 25-year-old NSW Waratahs halfback was named in the touring party for the Rugby Championship away Tests against South Africa and Argentina.
While he's been on the fringe of the side in recent times, Gordon described an email notification of his selection as a complete shock, though it came shortly after a three-try performance in an NRC game.
The squad contains two vastly more experienced halfbacks in long-standing first-choice Will Genia and Gordon's Waratahs colleague Nick Phipps.
Gordon is, however, coming off a strong Super Rugby campaign, starting nine times and playing in all but one match.
The opportunistic running halfback scored six tries for NSW and has continued hitting the scoreboard since the Super Rugby competition finished.
He bagged a brace of tries in Sydney University's Shute Shield grand final win and notched a hat-trick of five pointers for NSW Country last week.
Conversely Joe Powell, the man he has has effectively replaced as third-string halfback, has played sparingly recently and was left at home to get more minutes with the Canberra Vikings NRC side.
"I think every rugby player wants to play a lot of rugby and I've been lucky enough all year to go through without too many injuries," Gordon said.
"To be able to play footy week in week out is obviously something very good and put me probably in pretty good stead to be able to perform If I get the chance."
Gordon is set to battle with state colleague Phipps for the role of understudy to Genia over the next fortnight.
"With the Waratahs we compete day in day out at training, it made the best for both of us," Gordon said.
"So I'm sure this camp will be no different."
Phipps missed a Test against South Africa earlier this month after he got hit in a rib-rattling tackle in the Shute Shield grand final, but he came off the bench for last week's match against Argentina.
Asked if he might test out Phipps's ribs, Gordon said, 'I'll be checking that at training, no I'm joking, I hope nothing but the best for Fang (Phipps).
"We're're good mates, we compete hard at training."
Australian Associated Press