Ironman Adam ready for final fling

Having only been passed fit to play last weekend the day before the game, Qantas Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper will spend the rest of this week getting fit for the final battle. [more]

Ironman Adam ready for final fling

Having only been passed fit to play last weekend the day before the game, Qantas Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper will spend the rest of this week getting fit for the final battle.

It was Ashley-Cooper’s 76th minute try that broke he deadlock in the second half in Melbourne and finally allowed the Wallabies to edge in front of the British & Irish Lions and square the series.

It was a shoulder problem that caused Australia to wait until the last minute to pass their ‘Mr Consistency’ fit to play and this week it is a knee worry that is keeping Ashley-Cooper on the treatment table.

But any thoughts the Lions may have harboured of the midfield hardman missing the decisive third Test have been scotched by the player himself, Nothing, it seems, can halt him.

"I just copped a serious cork stinger in my shoulder in the first Test. I thought it might have been a bit of A/C damage, but it was just a good old-fashioned stinger,” admitted Ashley-Cooper.

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“I went straight to hospital for X-rays. They thought there might have been a fracture in my collarbone, but it was all clear. I was ruled out of contact all week, so I had to get through some fitness tests at the captain's run.

"The medical staff did a good job all week and I just got on with the job on Saturday night."

Didn’t he just! As well as scoring the only try of the game he led the Wallaby defensive line so well the Lions failed to make a line-break throughout the game. A week earlier they had scored two tries and cut through six times.

Ashley-Cooper’s shoulder certainly showed no signs of suffering in Melbourne as he cut down every attacker who came near him, although he did pick up another ‘stinger’, this time in his knee.

"I got a serious knock to my left knee that hit the nerve. I had a funny feeling in my leg, it felt as though I'd done some ligament damage, but it's fine,” he said.

"I'll be taking it easy today and tomorrow. I'm very lucky really, that there's nothing wrong with it and I'll get to experience the final of a Lions series.We didn't allow them through our line once, they had zero line breaks, so that is a really good stat and a good reflection of how we worked defensively.

“We made a lot of improvement from the first Test, but we still feel there is a lot more to come. We are really excited by the opportunity of Saturday night.

“Possession was a bit of an issue last weekend and we need to hold on to the ball more. We have got too many threats in the backline to waste. We are hoping to get the ball into the wider channels this week and that is something we will address in training."

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