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Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg considers club stint after being left out of Wallabies

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 25/05/2014 Chris Dutton
Jesse Mogg in action for Wests. © Rohan Thomson Jesse Mogg in action for Wests.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has challenged fullback Jesse Mogg to be more consistent to force his way back into the Test squad.

ACT Brumbies flyer Mogg is considering a stint in club rugby for Wests to help him build confidence after McKenzie dropped him from the Test squad for the series against France next month.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham also said the club would not tinker with its back-line combinations despite McKenzie making a point to select Matt Toomua as an inside centre instead of a flyhalf.

Mogg, 24, admits he wasn’t surprised when he was left out of a 36-man Wallabies squad and his only focus is finding a spark to boost the Brumbies’ Super Rugby play-off bid.

The Brumbies’ finals hopes suffered a massive blow in South Africa, the team tumbling from third to seventh at the weekend after being smashed 44-23 by the Pretoria Bulls.

Mogg’s performance mirrored the team’s effort, bombing a try late in the game when he dropped the ball with an open line ahead of him.

“It summed up my year, I can’t really say what’s gone wrong. It’s hurting my confidence a little bit,” Mogg said.

“But I can’t sit back, I’ll work on it and try to pull something out against the Rebels.

“I can’t let it affect me, I’m sure it will turn soon. I spoke to Ewen and he said they’re looking at more consistency from me, I agree with that. You don’t want to take guys who are running at 60 or 70 per cent.”

The Brumbies returned to Canberra on Sunday night after a horror two-game tour of South Africa.

They secured just one point – a bonus point for losing by less than seven – from their games against the Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs.

The Brumbies will have 11 players in the Wallabies squad to play France.

Toomua has been the Brumbies’ first-choice flyhalf for the past three years. But McKenzie views the 24-year-old as an inside centre rather than a No. 10.

McKenzie has anointed NSW flyhalf-inside centre combination of Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale as his No. 10 contenders.

“We’ve had our back-line combination for the last three years and I think it works very well,” Larkham said.

“For us, Matt is our No. 10 and that’s the way we see it.”

The Brumbies will be out for a slice of revenge against the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra on Saturday, their last game before the competition-wide international break.

The Rebels stunned the Brumbies early in the season with an upset victory in Melbourne that put an early dent in the ACT’s title ambitions.

Mogg is considering a return to Wests in the Canberra premier division to get extra game time while the Wallabies play.

 “It’s disappointing not to be in the Wallabies, but at the same time I half expected it,” Mogg said.

“I’ll try to get back to club rugby to get some game time and build some confidence. I guess you’ve got to back yourself.

“I’ve got to play to my strengths and not do things I don’t normally do. I go well when I just play my natural game, but for some reason this year it hasn’t fallen that way.”

Mogg had shoulder surgery in the off-season, missed most of pre-season and hasn’t been able to play at his peak this year.

He was outstanding against the Durban Sharks three weeks ago, but admitted his inconsistent performances were frustrating.

“Moggy’s been up and down in the season and in games,” Larkham said.

“It’s just not quite clicking at the moment but we’re working on it and things will turn.”

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