Wallabies star eased back into action following teammate's retirement
Dane Haylett-Petty was forced into retirement earlier this month after a long-term struggle that kept him sidelined through 2021 while his Wallabies and Rebels teammate Toomua missed the current UK tour after a head knock.
The veteran inside centre, who returned to Rebels training this week, isn’t doing any contact training.
“He doesn’t have any lingering issues but we’re taking it really easy with him,” coach Kevin Foote told AAP.
“There’s no contact activity for him or anything like that, we will just slowly drip it in but he’s come back and he’s looking really happy and it’s good to have him back.
“We will take our time with him; running will be no problem and just getting up to fitness … but we will be really conservative with his contact.”
Toomua captained the Rebels during the 2021 Super Rugby AU and Trans-Tasman seasons in the absence of Haylett-Petty and in May extended his contract through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
With Toomua’s history of concussion – including four other separate incidents – the Rebels can’t afford to lose him from a severely depleted backline.
Hodge tore his pec early in Australia’s test match in Japan last month.
Foote said the 27-year-old was determined to be ready for the Rebels’ opening round clash with the Western Force.
“They’re saying four to five months but Reece is the ultimate professional,” Foote said.
“He does physio on physio and I spoke to him last week and he said that he will be ready for that first game, that’s his mindset.
“He’s in great spirits considering the frustration of getting hurt as he was getting his chance as (test) fullback.”
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