Rejuvenated by playmaking duties, Kurtley Beale hopes to become the perfect Wallabies No 10 but doesn't want an easy ride through Quade Cooper exiting rugby.
Beale has quickly replaced disgruntled friend Cooper as Australia's game-breaking five-eighth and will get his shot at Bledisloe redemption on Saturday night against the All Blacks.
A month ago such a scenario seemed fanciful after he was dropped as an out-of-condition fullback for a second time in three Tests.
But after taking over from Cooper in the 31-8 loss to South Africa and 25-19 win over Argentina, he is relishing the chance to be the main man against all-conquering New Zealand.
"I'm feeling pretty confident," Beale said yesterday.
"I'm enjoying myself at the 10 position at the moment and it's exciting playing with the guys around me, they're making my job a lot easier.
"I feel a lot better. I feel a lot fitter and stronger than I did earlier in the year."
Beale endured a terrible start to the Rugby Championship.
He had a shocker against the All Blacks in the 27-19 loss in Sydney and came off the bench in the 22-0 drubbing in Auckland.
He admitted being out of shape, rusty and low on confidence but has regained his fitness and belief through hard work and the enjoyment of touring.
Now he's a lock in the No 10 jumper for the Wallabies, but the 23-year-old is still keen to see his mate Cooper return to the side.
Cooper's future in rugby hangs in the balance after he claimed the national team housed a "toxic environment", expressed his frustrations with its "boring" style of play and tweeted a desire to play rugby league with friend Sonny Bill Williams.
Beale said Cooper was "world-class" while taking the Queensland Reds to the 2011 Super Rugby title, and he hoped the five-eighth wasn't lost to the code once he recovered from knee surgery.
"If we can have him in the squad, and with his knowledge as well - he's very smart, he knows how to play the game well - it will definitely help us moving forward."
Coach Robbie Deans wants Beale and his Melbourne Rebels halves partner Nick Phipps to be more proactive at Suncorp Stadium than the Wallabies were in the first two Bledisloe clashes. Beale knows they must be on top of their game to compete against the world champions.
"If we are going to give these guys a good crack we've got to execute really well," Beale said. "That's what let us down in the first two encounters.
"Obviously they're in awesome form at the moment and they're looking unbeatable all the time.
"They're playing some very exciting football and all their players are close to the best in their position in the world.
"It's a great opportunity for us to show we can match it with them." AAP