Ioane fit for First Test

Digby Ioane has given the Qantas Wallabies a major boost ahead of the three-match series with the British & Irish Lions after he declared himself fit to feature in the first Test. [more]

Ioane fit for First Test

Digby Ioane has given the Qantas Wallabies a major boost ahead of the three-match series with the British & Irish Lions after he declared himself fit to feature in the first Test.

Ioane says he is available for selection for the opening international at the Suncorp Stadium despite having initially been ruled out of Saturday’s mouth-watering match up.

The highly-rated Reds winger had been replaced in his country’s 25-man squad earlier this month after continuing to struggle with a knee injury but was retained in the wider party in the hope that he might recover in time to play some part in the series.

Ioane has now stated that he is surprisingly ready to return earlier than expected, with head coach Robbie Deans likely to name him on the left wing at Thursday’s team announcement.

"It's feeling good, I'll be ready for this weekend," said Ioane, who underwent surgery to clean up damaged cartilage in late May.

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"I just had to do the little things first to get it right but now I'm right to go. All I have to do is just get picked for this weekend."

Ioane reportedly took a full part in the Qantas Wallabies training sessions on Friday and Monday and is now hopeful that Deans will hand him his 35th Test cap at his home stadium.

The 27-year-old, who is heading to French outfit Stade Francais next season, isn’t concerned in the slightest that he would be running out against The Lions not having played since facing the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on May 19.

"I've been in this situation before against the All Blacks – I think it was in 2010 when I did my shoulder," added Ioane.

"I didn't play a game all year and that was my first game so I'm not too worried about it."

Ioane is now the bookies favourite to start alongside rugby league and AFL convert Israel Folau out wide, although Deans could pick Nick Cummins or Luke Morahan, while Adam-Ashley Cooper and James O’Connor have also played plenty of Test rugby on the wing.

Fellow wing Joe Tomane is currently recovering from a toe injury and won’t be fit to play in Brisbane.

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