Injured Mitchell eyes Tri Nations rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injured Mitchell eyes Tri Nations rugby

By James Dampney 08/07/2008 06:03:07 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies speedster Drew Mitchell has an ankle problem, but still hopes to be part of Australian coach Robbie Deans' Tri Nations plans - once the two men have been introduced.

Mitchell was replaced in the second half of Australia A's defeat to the New Zealand Maori on Sunday after rolling his ankle, re-aggravating a problem that first occurred with the Western Force during the Super 14 season.

He adds to a worrying and lengthening list of potential Australian No.15s with injury or illness concerns, including Chris Latham, Julian Huxley and Cameron Shepherd, who broke his leg in Saturday's Test victory over France in Brisbane.

Wallaby officials are confident Mitchell will be fine for the opening Tri Nations match against South Africa in Perth on Saturday week, but his first task on Tuesday was to meet Australia's new coach for the first time after being added to the squad this week.

"We've got a team meeting so I'll introduce myself and say g'day," Mitchell said at the team's hotel in Sydney.

"It's different but I guess that's what you get (with a new coach) and that's a good thing having such a fresh face around."

Despite the high injury toll in the backline, Mitchell was still surprised to get a call-up, especially given the form of Peter Hynes, Lachlan Turner and Adam Ashley-Cooper, who stepped in for Shepherd in last week's 40-10 thrashing of France.

"Yeah it did (come as a surprise)," Mitchell said.

"I guess having been out of the squad and playing with Australia A the last few weeks, but also seeing how well those guys have played, Pete Hynes and Lachie Turner.

"So it's a surprise and one I'll take any day."

Mitchell doesn't think his ankle problem will prevent him from playing against world champions South Africa if selected.

"It's not too bad. It was more of a re-aggravation of the injury I had from the last game of the Super 14," he said.

"I should be fine."

Having watched the bruising opening Tri Nations match between New Zealand and South Africa last weekend, Mitchell knows the match against South Africa will be a big step up in intensity.

"Obviously the conditions didn't make an open type of game but I think you just saw the intensity of the match" he said.

"They were at each other for eighty minutes.

"We know that physicality is something we really need to handle."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news