Fit-again Berrick Barnes believes he will have to battle his way back into the Wallaby team off the bench on the upcoming European tour.
The injury prone Barnes started a personal-best 11th consecutive Test before a punctured lung suffered against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld in late September ruled him out of Australia's next two games.
In both Tests - against Argentina in Rosario and New Zealand in Brisbane - coach Robbie Deans opted for Kurtley Beale at flyhalf, Pat McCabe at inside centre and Mike Harris at fullback - the three positions Barnes can fill.
All three players took their chances, leading Barnes to believe he will have to fight his way back into the starting line-up.
"You've got to earn your spots back ... that's the way Robbie has always been. You get injured, you've got to work your way back into it again," Barnes said on Thursday.
"I'm under no illusions as to what probably I have to do to get back into it.
"In the three positions I play, you've got three guys playing well.
"Even if there's an opportunity to get back on the bench, I'd take it - that's for sure.
"I've always probably thought my best position was 12 but, in saying that, Pat McCabe is playing some of his best rugby and he's one of the leaders in the group, so I'm not expecting to get back in there ...
"I play 10 and 15 as well, so that gives me obviously a leg up for bench spots, but we'll just see what happens."
Meanwhile, David Pocock said it would be up to the team’s coaches and medical staff to decide whether he will be ready for the tour opener against France in Paris next weekend.
"I feel pretty good, I've progressed through all the running and rehab stuff and I've done a fair bit of contact," Pocock said.
As in Barnes’s case, Michael Hooper took the opportunity to fill in for Pocock with both hands. Pocock, however, feels he won’t necessarily have to compete with the rising star and suggested that they could work in tandem.
"I'd love to play alongside him. It comes down to what the coaches want and what they think will work best," Pocock said.
He said it is vital that the Wallabies ride the wave of momentum following their win over the Pumas and draw with the All Blacks on their four-Test northern hemisphere tour.
"I think it's really important that we're continuing to improve from the Rugby Championship and guys who have got a taste of it really start to kick on," Pocock said.
"We've got to make the most of this opportunity. Four games against some of the best teams in the world is really important in our development."
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