Timely Toomua return set to boost Wallabies

BACK TO FITNESS: Wallabies player Matt Toomua could return to the side this weekend against England.
BACK TO FITNESS: Wallabies player Matt Toomua could return to the side this weekend against England. DAVE HUNT

RUGBY: The Wallabies’ inside centre options have received a boost, with Brumbies star Matt Toomua joining camp ahead of the second Test against England in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Toomua looks to have overcome a knee injury, and attack coach Stephen Larkham said the Brumbies inside centre was available for selection.

“He came into the squad last week and managed to train with us on Thursday, (and) has pulled up fine from that training, so he should be good for selection,” Larkham said.

Larkham said he was pleased how the Aussie backline performed in the first Test.

“I thought it was pretty good. I think Samu (Kerevi) had a very fine first Test. I think he carried the ball when he needed to and found some pretty good support lines out there,” Larkham said.

“I think Israel (Folau) got his hands on the ball (at fullback) a fair bit of the game, which is what you want to see.

“And Bernard (Foley) seemed to control the game quite well (at five-eighth).”

Larkham was also pleased with the impact Christian Lealiifano had off the bench, after joining the Wallabies’ camp late after the birth of his son Jeremih.

“We had to make an early change with Christian coming on and a little bit of rotation with Christian playing on the wing in defence and a little bit in attack but I thought it was good,” Larkham said.

“I thought we made a number of breaks. We didn’t capitalise on some of those breaks but I guess what was pleasing was our handling and the fact that we made some line breaks.”

The barbs have not stopped from former Wallabies mentor and England coach Eddie Jones after his team’s historic 39-28 win in the first Test in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Jones suggested David Pocock’s injury – a fractured eye socket that will sideline the star flanker for the rest of the series – was a ruse.

“I don’t know if he is going to be in or out ... we’ll prepare as if he is playing,” Jones said.

The only other major injury worry before the announcing of the Wallabies’ team last night was second-rower Rob Simmons.

Simmons missed Tuesday’s training with a back injury and Brumbies lock Sam Carter looks the likely candidate to combine with Super Rugby partner Rory Arnold.

Winger Rob Horne is set to be named after a concussion kept him to limited training early this week.

Topics:  wallabies

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