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Toomua's selection to start against the All Blacks was unexpected, and many had predicted McEwen to recall controversial No. 10 Quade Cooper to the Wallabies starting lineup.
Cooper missed the British and Irish Lions series after falling out with former Australia coach Robbie Deans, and many thought he had been penciled in as McKenzie's first-choice due to their success together at Queensland Reds.
That Toomua got the nod provided ammunition for rival coach Steve Hansen to suggest before and after the match that McKenzie was undecided on his best line-up, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
When asked about the merits of Toomua over Cooper, Hansen replied:
I don't know. You should ask Ewen that. Did you ask him that?
I don't pick the team, so at the end of the week Ewen has got that job and you had better ask him. He may not know but ask him anyway.
I think they are both good players, but I am just happy I have got Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden ... and Beauden Barrett for that matter.
Irrespective of how Toomua played on his debut, his selection and the Wallabies' subsequent defeat was used as a barb to throw Australia's way.