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Luckless Lance's time will come: Cheika

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016 Joe Barton

He's one of the unluckiest Australian players of the past decade - stuck behind Wallabies stars during two Super Rugby title wins - but Michael Cheika believes it's only a matter of time before Jono Lance makes his Test debut.

The playmaker sat on the bench for the entirety of Australia's thrilling 25-23 win over France on Saturday after being a game-day callup for Quade Cooper.

Lance's enthusiastic sideline warmups were in vain as the clock ticked down and Cheika refused to pull the experienced Bernard Foley with the game on the line.

It continued a familiar tune for the 26-year-old's professional career, where he's been close -but not quite there - for the past decade.

During the Reds title-winning season in 2011, he found himself stuck behind Quade Cooper - and three years later it was Foley and Kurtley Beale who stood in his way at the Waratahs.

It hasn't been until a move to the Western Force this year that Lance has started receiving the sort of responsibility he needs to prove himself at the top level.

"Over the last 12 months (I've watched) some of the quality he's brought since he's been running the show at the Western Force," Cheika said.

"He's a different player to the one that I coached at the Tahs and he's come on and I don't think he got his cap tonight but he's now in the system with us and we'll keep working with him."

Lance will be top dog in the Wallabies outfit which takes on a French Barbarians team in Bordeaux on Thursday - a further indication that he's on track to take the next step.

"He'll run the show down in Bordeaux for the Wallaby XV that goes down there and I'd say it won't be long before he gets that (Wallaby) cap," Cheika said.

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