If he is fit and available, I would roll him straight in
Most pundits would pick Quade Cooper first and then 14 other Wallabies. Australia's first-choice scrumhalf, Will Genia, is not so sure.
Cooper, who missed Australia's past five Tests since requiring surgery for a knee injury, might have imploded in the World Cup semifinal against the All Blacks.
However, former All Blacks winger Stu Wilson feels the mercurial playmaker is so dynamic he should start for Australia against New Zealand in the opening match of the inaugural Rugby Championship in Sydney on Saturday - a game that also doubles as a Bledisloe Cup fixture.
"If he is fit and available, I would roll him straight in," Wilson said.
"To me he's the Benji Marshall of rugby. He does things you can't coach, you just have to encourage him to go out and do that. You put good guys like Genia inside him and decent men out wide, that's a handful.
"He is going to get a bit of stick from the fans, after the Richie McCaw knee in the face stuff, because we have four million people with hell of a long memories. But he is a Kiwi, and we love him. He's a gift and I love watching him play."
While Wilson would pick Cooper, Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia believes Berrick Barnes has earned the right to retain the No.10 jersey for Saturday.
The 24-year-old Cooper played in five of the Reds' Super Rugby games and has also turned out for his Brisbane club.
Not considered ready for Australia's four June Tests, Cooper had to watch Barnes star against the Welsh.
There were also injuries to other flyhalf candidates James O'Connor, Kurtley Beale and uncapped Christian Lealiifano.
Barnes is tipped to retain the No.10 jersey when the team for Australia's Rugby Championship opener is announced on Tuesday.
"Quadey has done a lot of work in terms of getting his body right and I think he is fit, he is ready to go," Genia told reporters on Monday.
"It's just a matter of whether you'd be willing, I guess, to put him into a Test match straight up and play 80 minutes against the All Blacks.
"I think that's more a call for [Wallabies coach] Robbie [Deans] than anyone else.
"From a player's point of view, it would be obviously great having him (Cooper) there, but Barnesy did a great job against Wales and in all fairness, I guess, probably deserves first crack at that No.10 jersey."
Wilson says having two options at No.10 is a nice problem to have.
"Quade gives you a bit more, with who he is and what he can produce. He can do something not in the coaching manual," Wilson said.
"But in saying that, Berrick Barnes is a pretty tidy footballer too. He has the ability to read the game pretty good. When to kick, when to run, he's not bad. So you have two good ones, as we have now with Dan Carter and (Aaron) Cruden poking around.
"The trouble comes when you only have one good one and they go down. So to have a choice is a huge bonus."
There will be at least two changes to the side that completed a three-Test whitewash of Wales due to injuries to No.8 Wycliff Palu and inside centre Pat McCabe.
Dave Dennis is likely to fill the vacant back row spot, while Anthony Faingaa is considered a strong chance of replacing McCabe.
Having played every minute of Queensland's Super campaign and Australia's four June Tests, Genia is refreshed again after three weeks without match play.
"I definitely appreciated the time off. I haven't lost any fitness, any conditioning, I've been working pretty hard," said Genia, Australia's 2012 Super Rugby player of the season.
Sources: AAP, The Daily Telegraph & NZ Newswire