Berrick Barnes will be a happy man if he can fight his way back into the Wallaby side this month regardless of what position he’s asked to play.
The Waratahs utility back was one of his country’s shining lights in the series whitewash of Wales during the summer but a punctured lung brought his Rugby Championship campaign to a premature end.
Barnes missed the win over Argentina in Rosario and the 18-18 Bledisloe Cup draw with the All Blacks in Brisbane a week-and-a-half ago and he admits he faces a real battle to regain a matchday spot when Australia take on France week on Saturday.
Kurtley Beale’s form at outside-half and the goal kicking efforts of Mike Harris from full back, together with Pat McCabe’s solidity at inside centre, mean Barnes has it all to do to impress head coach Robbie Deans in training between now and November 10.
"You've got to earn your spots back… that's the way Robbie has always been," said Barnes, who featured in 11 consecutive Tests for his country prior to his latest injury setback.
"You get injured, you've got to work your way back into it again. I'm under no illusions as to what probably I have to do to get back into it.
"In the three positions I play, you've got three guys playing well. Even if there's an opportunity to get back on the bench, I'd take it – that's for sure.
"I've always probably thought my best position was 12 but, in saying that, Pat McCabe is playing some of his best rugby and he's one of the leaders in the group, so I'm not expecting to get back in there.
"I play 10 and 15 as well, so that gives me obviously a leg up for bench spots, but we'll just see what happens on the tour."
So who’s played 10, 12 and 15 for the Wallabies since the Rugby World Cup. Here’s a quick recap…
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