Liam Gill up for the fight to win his spot back
RATHER than being disappointed at not being part of coach Ewen McKenzie's attacking revolution at the Wallabies, flanker Liam Gill couldn't be more excited to play a part in the revamped National Rugby Championship.
Many would argue Gill is good enough to be a part of the Australian squad, which will play its next Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park this Saturday.
The 22-year-old had an injury-disrupted season at the Queensland Reds, while his team struggled in the Super Rugby competition.
That meant in-form flankers Scott Fardy and Michael Hooper were preferred to start for the Wallabies in last Saturday's 12-all draw against the New Zealanders in Sydney.
Gill will line up for Brisbane City against the Sydney Stars at Ballymore Stadium tonight.
It has been a hectic schedule for the 15-Test player, after helping Australia to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games sevens competition in Glasgow, downing Samoa 24-0 in the play-off for third.
But that is the way he likes it and, more importantly, what he feels he needs to do to wear Wallaby gold once more.
"It was great to be able to jump back and forth (between sevens and 15-man rugby)," Gill told APN. "Not many players are given the opportunity to do that.
"My next goal is to keep playing as much footy as I can, and keep pushing my claims."
Meanwhile, Wallabies lock Sam Carter said he believed there was now only a small difference between his team and the world-champion New Zealand outfit. "If we can get one or two per cent better than our opposition, that generates a big result," he said.
"They're never going to lie down and give it to you, so you've got to confront them physically and make a difference."
And despite not having won at Eden Park since 1986, Carter's teammate and winger Rob Horne said the Australians were ready to end their Auckland drought.
"We feel like, with the momentum coming out of the French series, we've got a lot of our patterns and the same group together," he said.
"We didn't get the result on the weekend, but we'll take a lot from that."
The All Blacks were still sweating on the results of scans to Ma'a Nonu (shoulder) and flanker Jerome Kaino (elbow) late yesterday. Nonu's centre partner Conrad Smith should be available after he missed last Saturday's Test to be with his wife for the birth of their first baby.