Major boost for Wallaby Bledisloe Cup hopes
Wallaby up-and-coming star Jordan Petaia has recovered from his injury and will be available for the opening Bledisloe Cup game!!
Petaia injured his hip during the Super Rugby AU final and while he hasn’t trained fully with the squad as yet Dave Rennie expects he’ll be in the mix for the Wellington Test come October 11.
Although the 20 year old centre has only played two tests for the Wallabies and has already had his short career disrupted by injury he brings some genuine X-factor to the Australian backline which they’re in desperate need of if they’re to have any chance of breaking the 18 year long Bledisloe drought they’ve experienced.
“He’s getting better; the injury is not as bad as first feared,” Rennie said from their Christchurch hotel quarantine.
“He didn’t train with the team at all last week so we’re hoping we will get him back up and running by the end of the week.
“At this stage we expect everyone to be available for the first Test.”
This is now the third quarantine Rennie has experienced in his travels of late with the first being when he arrived in Sydney from the UK and then another when he moved to Queensland. At least this one is a little easier with him being able to go out into the garden area at the hotel.
Once they’ve completed their mandatory 3 day lockdown they’ll be allowed to start training in small groups and then as a full team on the 6th day after they’ve completed their second COVID-19 test.
In the meantime, with the time being so short before their opening test, the coach has had the Wallaby’s doing in-room workouts and video analysis to keep them on their toes.
“We’ve had to prioritise what we need to get through and then we can build our game as we go,” he said.
“We’re trying to cram in as much as we can as well as trying to get some physical work in.”
Rennie has intimated that there are still spots in the squad up for grabs and his final decisions would only be made after considering how the players shaped during training in the lead-up to the first test.
“We’ve always said we’re going to pick on form … there’s no doubt some of the young men are going to put serious heat on a spot within that 23,” the Kiwi said.
“There are a number of positions where it’s tight and some may depend on combinations but how some people train may tip the scales in the next few days.”
Interestingly enough once the Australians return home after their two tests in New Zealand Rennie will come up against the Wallaby’s former head coach Michael Cheika as he’s now joined the Argentinian coaching squad as an assistant.
However Rennie has stated that he isn’t bothered by Cheika’s “inside knowledge” as there’s been such a large turnover of players.