50 Tests and an injury comeback for Vikings

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Canberra Vikings will welcome 50 Test caps into their side this weekend, but plenty of eyes will be on lesser-known winger Lausii Taliauli .

Taliauli showed plenty of promise in the 2016 Super Rugby season before a knee reconstruction ended his year on January 28, in a trial match.

After 10 months on the sideline, the 24-year-old will finally make his comeback on Sunday in Canberra, against the Sydney Rays.

Vikings coach Tim Sampson said the speedster had been a strong presence in the team.

“He's been around the squad for about 3-4 weeks now, and with heavy involvements in training,” he said.

“It is a slow process to come back and it seems like it drags on a bit but it's very important that he ticks all the boxes coming back from a serious injury and he is certainly one individual that creates a lot of energy and is a bit of  a joker in the squad.

“It is refreshing to have someone like that around.”

Henry Speight, Sam Carter, Joe Powell and Rory Arnold will all be part of the Vikings’ 23 this weekend.

Carter was rested for last weekend’s clash against the Melbourne Rising, while Arnold was released from the Test squad to start in that game.

Speight and Powell have been released from the Wallabies squad to play in the clash, after playing minimal roles in recent Tests.

Sampson said they had to balance the inclusion of experienced additions in with keeping faith with a team that has proven successful this season.

“Continuity with selection's important to us and we've got a pretty tight group and we're getting a lot of pay out of the whole squad, not just the 23 every week,” he said.

“It's a credit to the players there and the Wallabies coming back, it just creates a little bit of extra buzz amongst your squad so looking forward to it.”

The Canberra Vikings host the Sydney Rays on Sunday October 15, kicking off at 2:30pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.