Kane Douglas says he is relieved to have overcome his injury woes and hopeful of making a quick impact for both the Wallabies and the Queensland Reds.
Douglas played his first match since injuring his ACL during last year’s World Cup final in Friday night’s loss to the Brumbies, coming off the bench in the 50th minute to make an impressive – albeit long overdue – debut for the Reds.
It leaves the 27-year-old with only two Super Rugby matches in the regular season to build form and fitness, but it’s expected Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will bring him straight back into the fold for the Rugby Championship, which begins with a Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Sydney on August 20.
“That’s what I’m hoping, if I can play some good footy,” Douglas told reporters on Tuesday.
“But I’m just worrying about (doing) that for the Reds first and we’ll see what happens from there.
“I don’t talk myself up, I’m just going to work hard and if I can help out in any way, I will.”
Douglas was a key part of the Australian side that unexpectedly surged all the way to the 2015 World Cup decider, and his uncompromising aggression and sheer physical presence might just be what the Wallabies need after they were comprehensively outfought in a 3-0 home series defeat to England last month.
But having spent time around Camp Wallaby finalising the rehabilitation on his knee and nursing himself back to full fitness, Douglas senses it’s not all gloom and doom for the national team.
“The boys played well, you can’t fault their effort in any of the games,” he said.
“It was good to see some young guys get a crack and everyone definitely put in.
“These things happen, you have your dips and things like that.”
The Reds host the Chiefs on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium in a clash that is likely to pit Douglas against All Blacks second-rowers Brodie Retallick and Dominic Bird, in an early test of his readiness for the international arena.
Douglas expects he will be much better for his first run, although it’s expected he will remain on the bench when Queensland’s team is named on Wednesday morning, with Cadeyrn Neville and rookie Lukhan Tui set to retain their starting spots.
“I was probably sucking them in a few times, but I felt all of my involvements were alright,” Douglas said.
Five-eighth Jake McIntyre (ankle) didn’t train on Tuesday and will be replaced by Duncan Paia’aua, while Karmichael Hunt (groin) is also still sidelined.
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/16780149/kane-douglas-poised-wallabies-return
Kane Douglas set for Wallabies return
ESPN.com – RUGBY