Tahu struggling with back injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tahu struggling with back injury

28/10/2008 07:57:19 PM Comments (0)

Timana Tahu joined Australia's mounting unavailable list as Wallabies coach Robbie Deans scratched fellow dual international Lote Tuqiri for at least the first two Tests of the spring tour.

Tahu was experiencing back tightness - a discomfort stemming as much from a nine-hour flight from Sydney as his chronic hamstring injury - and was unable to take part in the Wallabies' first team run in Hong Kong ahead of Saturday's ground-breaking Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks.

Tahu's latest injury concern is considered nothing more than a minor setback, but Deans was taking no risks and said, given his history of extended stints on the sidelines, it was important to carefully manage the backline ace's workload - especially on such a long and demanding tour.

As the rest of the 34-man squad, including Tuqiri, acclimatised to the steamy conditions in an opposed training session just 12 hours after arriving in Hong Kong late on Monday night.

Tahu and lock Peter Kimlin (quad) were restricted to light running.

Having only proven his fitness for the tour on Sunday, Tuqiri looked to be making steady progress following post-Tri Nations knee surgery.

Deans, though, said the superstar winger remained some way off the pace and would not only not be considered for the All Blacks match but Saturday week's Italy Test in Padova as well.

"He won't be playing this week and he won't be playing next week to be honest, to be fair," Deans revealed.

"He might think otherwise ... but he needs to get some work under his belt."

Tuqiri only boarded the plane for the six-match tour on the condition he continued to show enough improvement to suggest he would be back on the park sooner rather than later, and Deans was adamant the 66-Test veteran would only remain with the squad "so long as he can use his time constructively while he's with us".

"Every day is valuable," Deans said.

"If he, through the work he does, has a setback, and it gets to the point where there's no advantage with him being with us, then we'll send him home.

"But, in the meantime, if things are going well and there's no setback and he's better to be with our staff who can give him not only the volume of work but also the care, and everything going well, he should be available to play at some point."

Powerhouse No.8 Wycliff Palu (knee) and utility forward Hugh McMeniman (ankle) are the other two squad members not being considered for Saturday's tour opener, which will be the first-ever Bledisloe Cup match contested on neutral territory.

While Palu is considered doubtful for the Italy Test, McMeniman will almost certainly be available after training strongly on Tuesday and working the lineout seemingly trouble-free.

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