Rugby: Curtis Rona could be rugby union's next Ben Te'o, says Michael Cheika

By Jamie Pandaram of The Daily Telegraph

Former Cowboys star Curtis Rona scoring thier second try against the Brisbane Broncos in 2014. Photo / Richard Robinson
Former Cowboys star Curtis Rona scoring thier second try against the Brisbane Broncos in 2014. Photo / Richard Robinson

League convert and New Zealand-born Curtis Rona could have the same impact for the Wallabies as Ben Te'o has had for England, national coach Michael Cheika says.

The former Bulldogs try-scoring sensation has caught Cheika's eye in just two games for the Western Force at outside centre.

Te'o, who moved to English rugby after winning the NRL premiership with Souths, is now a key member of an England side that has won a record 17 Tests in a row.

Rona scored the matchwinning try last week against Queensland and has been generally strong in a position widely regarded as the most difficult to defend in rugby.

"I've liked what Rona has brought so far, it's been good," Cheika said.

"You see Rona and [Force winger] Chance Peni, they've fitted in quite nicely.

"I don't know much about Chance Peni, I always thought Rona was going to do well.

"He'll need a bit of time but I think he'll be very similar to how Ben Te'o has gone for England.

"He is a big player, he's a good defender, he's got a fair bit of aggression."

Cheika said he'd also been impressed by Rona's centre partner Bill Meakes, Rebels fullback Jack Maddocks, Brumbies halfback Joe Powell and props Alan Alaalatoa and Tyrel Lomax, NSW hooker Tolu Latu and Queensland lock Izack Rodda and backrower Adam Korczyk in the first two rounds of Super Rugby.

- news.com.au

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