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Phipps pushing Genia for Wallabies' No.9

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016 Joe Barton

Nick Phipps has put his hand up to retain the Wallabies' halfback jersey despite the return of regular No.9 Will Genia, according to his halves partner from their impressive win over Wales.

Phipps produced one of his best shifts for the Wallabies in Saturday's Spring Tour opener won 32-8 at Millennium Stadium, with his sniping runs in the first half proving especially effective and he provided clean ball to help get Australia's giant second-rowers rolling forward.

Who gets the nod at halfback is sure to give coach Michael Cheika some headaches this week, with Genia joining the squad in Edinburgh after being released by French club side Stade Francais for the international window.

Genia shone throughout the Rugby Championship and on the surface it would appear to be a simple swap to bring him straight back in to face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

But continuity in combinations could work in Phipps' favour, after the 49-Test veteran combined superbly with five-eighth and man-of-the-match Bernard Foley as Australia extended their winning streak over the Dragons to 12 Tests.

"I'm not too sure what's going to happen there but I think Nick has put his best foot forward in the last two weeks," Foley said.

"He's someone that we know is always going to work really hard, work tirelessly and be at the base of every ruck. Nick's done really well, his backing up, his supporting lines is second to none. He's always around the ball."

Phipps has been handed the past two starts following Stade Francais' decision not to release Genia.

At worst, Foley argues, it feeds into a consistent theme of Cheika's in 2016: creating competition and depth in every position.

"However the coaches go, I'm sure whoever gets the nod will do the best job," Foley said.

"And there's a lot of pressure in those positions and that's the competition we need in this side to improve everyone and to keep pushing ourselves to be better."

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