Ashley-Cooper battling groin problem - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ashley-Cooper battling groin problem

By David Beniuk 19/01/2009 05:51:59 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies star Adam Ashley-Cooper is still battling a groin injury picked up on the Wallabies' spring tour.

Utility back Ashley-Cooper, who played at fullback for most of the Wallabies' international season in 2008, struggled with the injury in Europe, hobbling off in the Test against France and missing the loss to Wales.

He got through the final match against the Barbarians before a five-week break but said on Monday he was still undergoing rehabilitation for the injury.

"It's still got a little way to go," he told reporters.

"Fitness is probably the main issue at the moment so I've got to knuckle down and do some conditioning and catch up with the boys.

"I came off the tour with a few niggles so it was a good time to refresh, get the body right and now there's a lot of work to be done ... with a bit of rehab as well so I've got to get the body right leading into the start of the season.

"I got through the last game against the Baa-Baas without any issues which is a good sign and with the five weeks I think that will be very valuable."

The Brumbies play their first trial match on Friday week, against the Hurricanes in Canberra, with Wallabies stars Ashley-Cooper, Mark Chisolm, Stephen Moore, Stirling Mortlock and George Smith all expected to be rested.

They should return for the second trial, against NSW in Sydney on February 5, ahead of the ACT-based side's Super 14 opener against the Highlanders in Dunedin on February 13.

New coach Andy Friend said he hadn't settled on personnel for any of the positions in his side yet.

"Players come with certain reputations and things they've done in the past but we're really keen to see how they're going within our structures, so (the trials are) very important for future selection," he said.

But the coach hinted he'd like to see Ashley-Cooper at outside centre, a move which would require a move for Wallabies captain Mortlock.

"He's a great player to have in a squad because he can play anywhere (in the backline)," Friend said of the 24-year-old utility.

"My personal preference? I think he could be a world class 13.

"He sees the game very well, he's got tremendous speed, he's very powerful through the hips and defensively he's very sound."

Ashley-Cooper said he'd play in any position he was needed.

"I'll play wherever Friendy wants me to play," he said.

"I just enjoy playing football and really focusing on trying to perform in that position."

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