New No9 in line for Wallabies

The Wallabies could have a new scrum-half next month. [more]

New No9 in line for Wallabies

The Wallabies could have a new scrum-half next month.

The Lions’ next opponents look set to hand Nick Phipps a dramatic debut against Samoa on July 17.

Phipps is in line to make his international bow after Luke Burgess broke his hand.

Burgess has been ruled out for six to eight weeks, opening the door for his former Sydney University club-mate to complete his remarkable rise to the top of the Australian game.

Phipps was playing third grade rugby just 12 months ago and was only signed to new Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels as back up to both Sam Cordingly and Richard Kingi.

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But after an impressive first season of Super Rugby in which he was named Australian Rookie of the Year, Phipps is on the verge of securing a World Cup spot.

And with the Reds on course for the Super 15 Final on July 9, first-choice Wallaby No9 Will Genia could be rested for the friendly against the Samoans meaning Phipps jumps straight into the starting XV ahead of the start of the Tri Nations.

But despite the door seemingly being open for place in Robbie Deans’ World Cup party, Phipps isn’t getting too carried away.

"I haven't really thought about that so far," said 22-year-old Phipps, who was part of an Australian training squad in Sydney on Tuesday comprising mostly forwards whose Super Rugby seasons are now over.

”Me and Burgo get on really well both coming from Sydney Uni and I know how disappointed he'd be breaking his hand before the semi-finals.

"I know he'll be back at some point, so it's up to me now to put my best foot forward early. I've certainly got a great opportunity that I want to make the most of."

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