Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie insists Benn Robinson is still on his radar, despite the veteran prop once again feeling the disappointment of being overlooked for a Wallabies call-up.
Robinson, 30, missed out on McKenzie’s 32-man squad two weeks ago, but an ankle injury to fellow loosehead prop Scott Sio on Monday created an opening ahead of next Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup opener.
However, McKenzie opted to call-up Melbourne Rebels tighthead prop Laurie Weeks, saying that Sio had been included in the squad as a potential tighthead proposition.
Robinson, who is just two games away from equalling Al Baxter’s 69 Test record for most capped Wallabies prop, admitted he was disappointed not to get a call-up.
“Yeah of course,” the Waratahs frontrower said.
“It’s always tough. I’ve played for the Wallabies for a long long time, so to miss out is always disappointing.”
Robinson added that he felt his past two games – where the Waratahs took out their maiden Super Rugby title – had been his best of the season.
McKenzie agrees, saying the primary reason Robinson missed out on a recall was that the squad had more depth in the loosehead role than at tighthead.
“He’s definitely on the radar. We’re concentrating on the tighthead prop side of things,” McKenzie said.
“Robinson has been playing pretty well of late. So he’s certainly not out of the picture.
“We were experimenting (with Sio) and seeing what he was going to look like at (tighthead).
“Laurie was there and didn’t do a bad job for us in June (against France). So we’ve called him in.
“(Sekope) Kepu’s ability to play loosehead as well gives us a bit of flexibility.”