BRISBANE - Matt Toomua's return to the Wallabies fold has injected some much-needed competition, Kurtley Beale said Monday, after the Leicester inside centre's standout performance against South Africa.
Coach Michael Cheika took a gamble for Saturday's clash in Brisbane by axing playmaker Bernard Foley from the starting line-up for the first time in four years, introducing Toomua to the side and shifting Beale to fly-half. It paid off with Australia snapping a four-game losing streak to win 23-18.
The composed Toomua, eligible for the Wallabies again after signing a deal with the Melbourne Rebels for next season, following two years with Leicester in England, slotted in seamlessly. He finished with a 15-point haul, including a try, two conversions and two penalties to be named man-of-the-match.
"He's obviously a quality player and having him there has created a lot of healthy competition among the playmakers," said the versatile Beale, who took over the number 10 shirt from Foley to direct operations alongside Toomua.
"We haven't had that for a while -- probably not since Matt Giteau left (in 2016) -- but once you have that competition there you get the better out of each other. It's certainly good for the group."