Wallabies squad: Jordan Petaia's selection a nod to the future

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Cheika: A number of players impressed tonight. (1:06)

Cheika: A number of players impressed tonight. Video by Sam Bruce (1:06)

Michael Cheika admits he had one eye on the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the other looking even further ahead when he included teenage sensation Jordan Petaia in his extended Wallabies train-on squad.

Petaia is likely to be cut when Cheika's 36-man squad is trimmed after a week-long camp in Cessnock before the Wallabies' Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks on August 18.

Already on record as saying he will finish up at the end of next year, Cheika is intent on building depth and leaving Australian rugby in safer hands through improved succession planning.

He sees 18-year-old Petaia as very much one of the stars of the future after the utility back lit up Leichhardt Oval with a dazzling attacking display in Friday night's Wallabies trial.

"The one big thing with this team that we've assembled from a coaching point of view is we want to build some foundations for the future as well," Cheika said.

"That's something we haven't been good at over the past 10 or 12 years, thinking about how we can infiltrate both the mentality and the talent of the players going forward so the next coach and the coach after him are in a really good spot and our rugby public have got great teams coming through.

"That's something we've been talking about, working on, since the last World Cup.

"I don't know the exact number but there'd have to be over two-thirds of this squad who have debuted or played for Australia since the last World Cup.

"So it's a very, very fresh outlook and gives us a foundation - if we can stave off the overseas pirates - to keep a strong group of players going through not just to 2019 but beyond."

Cheika was hugely impressed with Petaia's trial showing, which included a try after he caught a Will Genia chip kick.

"He had some good touches. It was his first opportunity to play at the next level up and I thought he handled it pretty well," Cheika said. "So it's just another opportunity to spend a bit more time with him inside of the team environment."

Cheika nominated 22-year-old Melbourne Rebels prop Jermaine Ainsley as another uncapped rookie whose claims couldn't be ignored after the in-house trial.

"Jermaine had a very solid half of footy," the coach said. "He hasn't had probably as much footy as we would have liked down in Melbourne.

"He's had a few injuries et cetera but he's a player who I think has got a lot of promise. If he works hard and stays focused on what he needs to do, and takes care of the small details, it won't be long before he's playing for Australia."