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No half measures here

If there are two positions where there is no, or very little, debate about who should start for Australia in the June internationals it is at halfback.

 

Let's not beat around the bush!

 

Will Genia is simply the best. Only Fourie du Preez, when he was on form, could claim to be a better scrumhalf than Genia. And Du Preez no longer plays Super Rugby, leaving Genia as the undoubted standout No.9 of Southern Hemisphere – and even world – rugby.

 

Like the Reds, Genia had a sluggish start. The last few weeks he worked his way back into form and he is an awesome sight.

 

Quade Cooper is some way off his best form and only has 40 minutes of Super Rugby to his credit. But with a few more weeks to work his way back to full match fitness, and regain much-needed confidence, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be mesmerising the opposition soon enough.

 

It is that simple. Pick the two best players and back them, even if they do look rusty at first.

 

As that classic cliche says: 'Form is temporary, class is permanent!'

 

Yes, Kurtley Beale has been in sublime form as flyhalf for the Rebels in recent weeks, and probably should be considered.

 

Berrick Barnes has also had a few decent performances in the No.10 jersey for the Waratahs.

 

However, in the absence of the injured Jame O'Connor, Barnes will be needed as the second playmaker, at inside centre, and Beale is just as devastating from fullback.

 

The only question is, who will provide cover off the bench. With all the quality utility value at Robbie Deans' disposal all he needs for now is a specialist back-up scrumhalf.

 

Ian Prior is not half bad, but Brendan McKibbin is growing in stature and an additional goal-kicking option.

 

Starting:

 

9 Will Genia:

Will Genia confirmed his status as one of the world's most elite players in 2011 and in recent weeks he showed he has lost none of those touches.

 

10 Quade Cooper:

Now over that dreadful knee injury and a few weeks to work on his confidence he could soon show why he is one of the most exciting figures in world rugby.

 

Bench:

 

20 Brendan McKibbin:

He enjoyed a stellar run-on debut for the Waratahs against the Sharks in Round Five, scoring his debut Super Rugby try and earning man of the match honours. However, it is his goal-kicking that makes him a valuable addition to any squad – whether he starts or plays off the bench.

 

By Jan de Koning

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