Ioane fit and raring to go
October 4, 2011
Wallabies wing Digby Ioane has returned to training and is hoping for a recall this weekend © Getty Images
Digby Ioane has declared himself 100 percent fit for Australia's Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with South Africa in Wellington.
The Queensland Red winger has been out of action since fracturing this thumb in the Wallabies tournament-opening victory over Italy on September 11 but is now ready to return in time to face the Springboks. "I am 100%," said Ioane. "I will be doing full training this week and be up there for selection."
The Aussies go into the game having already chalked up two victories over the reigning world champions in this year's triumphant Tri-Nations campaign. However, flanker Rocky Elsom feels it would be a mistake to read too much into their wins in Sydney and Durban.
"In the Tri Nations it was a different setting and the game was played a different way," he said. "But it doesn't mean we cannot adapt and it doesn't mean they won't adapt, but I imagine it will be different."
Indeed, Elsom feels that this weekend's encounter will hinge on the back-row battle for supremacy at the breakdown.
"If you ever discount the breakdown you are going to be in trouble, particularly as we get to the pointy end of the tournament," the former Leinster man said.
"That is going to be an area of contention, because any team that gets the dominance at the breakdown they are going to provide front-foot ball for their attack, and that is an enormous part of the game.
"I think if you look at the teams whose attack has really stuttered in this tournament, you can almost always link it back to the breakdown.
"Obviously, the game flows in the pool stages when you have lesser sides versus more fancied sides, but in the big games it tends to tighten up and every inch of ascendancy you can gain there at the breakdown is crucial."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The fairytale continued right to the end for the magic man." Tom Hamilton reports on the game that saw Brian O'Driscoll bid adieu with the Six Nations title
"It is a sign of how far this England team have come that they looked disappointed at the full-time whistle having just put 52 points on Italy." Tom Hamilton writes
We bring together a selection of the best pictures from the final round of the Six Nations and one which ended in Irish victory
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999