Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia is tackled by Beauden Barrett of New Zealand during their Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland.
Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia is tackled by Beauden Barrett of New Zealand during their Bledisloe Cup match at Eden Park in Auckland. DAVID ROWLAND

Rookie of the year keen to try hand at fullback

RUGBY UNION: Dane Haylett-Petty says he's ready to step into the fullback role for the Wallabies - should coach Michael Cheika opt to move Israel Folau to outside centre for the Spring Tour opener against Wales on Sunday (12.30am AEST).

Cheika is contemplating the switch for the clash at Cardiff after the ankle injury to regular No.13 Samu Kerevi.

Haylett-Petty has starred for the Wallabies with his runs on the wing and believes he could be even more damaging at fullback, where he plays for the Western Force.

"Definitely. I've played most footy at fullback and I enjoy the fact you get more ball there,” said the 27-year-old, who was last week named the Wallabies' rookie of the year. "It's hard to stay out of the game at fullback.

"But at the moment I'm just enjoying playing on wing. I feel like I'm slowly finding my feet there and I'm just trying to improve every week.”

South African-born Haylett-Petty plays the kind of attacking, hard-running rugby Cheika loves.

"(Cheika) is big on trying to excite the fans and play that Aussie style and that does suit me,” he said.

"But to win you've got to be able to adapt at times and I'm sure there's going to be times we're going to have to adapt.”

Star halfback Will Genia, meanwhile, has been denied the chance to take the field for the Wallabies against Wales, with his French club Stade Francais choosing not to release him.

The 72-Test veteran should be available for fixtures against Ireland and France


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