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Wallabies hooker ready for return

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'Having those 11 months off gave me time to strip back and work on my body and my skills'

More lineout throws and less carbs have been key to young hooker Jordan Uelese’s path back to the Wallabies fold.

Uelese played two Tests in 2017 before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Melbourne Rebels late in the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Despite limited minutes this year, the 22-year-old is now in line to add another international appearance as the Wallabies prepare to face South Africa in Johannesburg on Sunday.

He made his debut against the Springboks in a drawn match in Perth.

“It’s really great to be back in the thick of things and being back in camp with the boys has been awesome,” Uelese said.

“Just to be around the group is definitely a proud moment for myself after so long away from the Wallabies colours and there’s the feeling that we’re building something special.

“I’m grateful to be in this position again because it’s something didn’t feel I’d be back in.”

Uelese used his time on the sidelines to work on his line-out throw, which he admitted was his weakness.

“Having those 11 months off gave me time to strip back and work on my body and my skills,” he said.

“As a hooker you’ve got to be good at your set piece and that’s something I’ve worked really hard on with Geoff Parling back at the Rebels as well as Mick Byrne, who has come down a fair bit to help me with my throwing.

“It’s really good to be coming back with the confidence that you know you’ve done the work and can put everything out there.”

Uelese has also shed seven kilos to get down to 115kg and believed he was in the best shape of his life.

He said he had to give up the carbs during big Sunday lunches to reach his goal.

“Probably the one thing I cut down on was Sunday lunches after church, the Samoan feeds on a Sunday arvo.

“I pulled back there on a lot of carbs and a lot of meat with no veges.”

– AAP

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'Having those 11 months off gave me time to strip back and work on my body and my skills'