Tuqiri opts to rest injured knee - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tuqiri opts to rest injured knee

01/07/2008 08:13:22 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies winger Lote Tuqiri believes he could have been fit to play Saturday night's second Test against France in Brisbane but opted to rest his recovering knee.

Tuqiri was replaced by NSW teammate Lachlan Turner in a bid to get over the injury sustained in last weekend's 34-13 first Test win in Sydney.

No.8 Wycliff Palu (shoulder) was also overlooked because of injury, replaced by Stephen Hoiles, while flanker George Smith and fullback Cameron Shepherd were left out for Phil Waugh and Adam Ashley-Cooper respectively.

Tuqiri said it was the first time he had missed a Test due to injury.

The gamebreaker admitted he had been concerned by the knee complaint but claimed he would have been fit to take on Les Bleus.

"I reckon I could have been right for this week but I just wanted to get the knee right and give myself every chance of getting it back to 100 per cent ...for the Tri Nations squad," he said in Brisbane.

"It was a bit uncomfortable, it felt like it was dangling there a bit - I didn't want to be a passenger."

Tuqiri said he was taking the injury "day by day" but claimed it was not a long term concern.

"I don't think so, the strength is still there. I've just got to get the fluid down and the range of movement back," he said.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said it would have been "fool hardy" to play Tuqiri and Palu against a French side desperate to bounce back at Suncorp Stadium despite encouraging feedback from medical staff.

"They're going to rebound. That's the nature of the French," Deans said.

"They won't have enjoyed their first outing, and they will want to finish the season and finish the tour on a good note.

"So I'm expecting a pretty passionate effort and I think you got an insight in the latter parts of the game (last weekend) how they'll play it - they'll look to play."

He said Palu's injury was unrelated to earlier shoulder injuries.

"He'll be fine, he just needs a bit of time for it settle, and he's good to carry on," he said.

Meanwhile, Deans said backrower Dan Vickerman (ankle) was a "possibility" of playing on the weekend of Australia's Tri Nations opener on July 19, most likely in club rugby.

He said prop Matt Dunning (calf) would be considered for the opener at Perth against South Africa.

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