Coleman faces England fitness Test

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies lock Adam Coleman will face a fitness test on Thursday to ensure he takes his place in a blockbuster Test match against England this weekend.

Coleman hit his thumb in the dying minutes of Australia’s 29-21 win over Wales last weekend, and has not been able to train fully since.

As teammates were practising cleanouts on Tuesday, Coleman was manning the poles at the start of a drill.

The 26-year-old will need to make it through training on Thursday to feature against England.

Coleman has become one of Australia’s most important players since making his debut against England last year, leading the side’s lineout, and his absence would be a major blow to the side.

Adam Coleman has to prove his complete fitness for this weekend. Photo: Getty imagesWallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham was confident Coleman would be fit to play against England on Sunday morning (AEDT).

“He's good actually, he pulled up really well out of the game so he should be good yeah,” he said.

“Like most guys we're just making sure that we do right by him so he's certainly on track to play, there's no issues there.”

If Coleman is ruled out, Lukhan Tui would be the next in line to come into the starting team, but he too faces some fitness uncertainty.

Tui suffered a hamstring injury in the Wallabies’ match against the Barbarians and though he has featured in parts of training this week, would need to be cleared after Thursday’s session if he were to play.

“Lukhan didn't train today with the team and will go through some further assessments over the next couple of days so we'll probably know a bit more on Thursday with Lukhan,” Larkham said.

Lukhan Tui had a rollercoaster debut. Photo: Getty ImagesMatt Philip would be in line to be elevated to the starting lineup behind Tui, with uncapped lock Blake Enever the other second rower competing for a spot in the 23.

Karmichael Hunt is a chance to come into the centres for the match, and Larkham said they would have no qualms putting the four-Test back into the fray, but also praised Samu Kerevi’s work at 12.

“He (Hunt) added really good impact off the bench, his defence was outstanding, his energy was really good, he didn't get a lot of carries but he had a really good carry,” he said.

“I think he combined really well with the guys when he came on the field.

“It's certainly something we're considering.

“In saying that Samu also had a really good game defensively, he stepped up.

“It's been an area of his game he's tried to work on and found his feet in the second half with his carries as well.”

Australia takes on England on Saturday November 18, kicking off at 3pm local, Sunday 2am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS.