World Cup berth on the line as Adam Coleman prepares for Bledisloe Cup comeback
Coleman hasn’t played since fracturing his scapula in the Melbourne Rebels’ 66-0 loss to the Crusaders on June 8.
A calf niggle delayed Coleman’s return but the 27-year-old says he is now at full fitness and is capable of playing the 80 minutes in the Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks at Optus Stadium.
Coleman has been a Wallabies regular in recent years.
Coleman has been impressed by the form of that trio and says it’s a good sign of depth within Australian rugby.
But Coleman also knows it means he needs to prove his worth if he is to win a ticket – and earn valuable game time – to the World Cup in Japan.
“It’s a great opportunity to make sure that I keep improving as a player and keep competing,” Coleman said.
“There’s so much competition within the squad, not only in the locks but throughout various positions now.
“It’s getting to that crunch time where selections are going to have to be very tough for Cheika.
“That’s a good thing for Australian rugby.
“I love competing at the highest level and against the best.
“Seeing the boys perform last week gave me that itch to get back into the squad and fight for a gold jersey.”
The Wallabies haven’t held the Bledisloe Cup since 2002 – a 17-year drought the players are desperate to end.
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But Cheika knows the biggest prize of all is the World Cup and he’s been experimenting with his squad during the Rugby Championship.
The Wallabies were beaten 35-17 by the Springboks in South Africa last month, before rebounding with a 16-10 win over Argentina.
Flanker David Pocock, who has been sidelined by a calf injury since March, is a chance to return against the All Blacks this weekend.
The All Blacks have looked scratchy in their past two games, following up a 20-16 win over Argentina with a 16-16 draw with South Africa in Wellington.
But NZ coach Steve Hansen experimented heavily with his squad over those two Tests and has promised to unleash his strongest side against the Wallabies in Perth.
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