Tui taking plenty from tour

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies forward Lukhan Tui has spent three weeks on Spring Tour in rehab, but the rising star hasn’t let the time go to waste.

Tui will come off the bench against Scotland and though having to battle through a hamstring injury suffered against the Barbarians last month has been a frustrating experience, it's been far from useless.

“I've taken so much out of it. You see these teams and stadiums on TV but understand how great the atmosphere is until you are there,” he said.

“Watching from the sidelines for a few weeks now, even though I haven't play I feel more comfortable in this environment.

“I've taken a lot out of it and with the time off the field has allowed me to get my detail down pat and know my role even more.

“I've learnt more than I expected being injured.”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika put his confidence in the 21-year-old, in just his second Super Rugby season, to bring him on the tour, even with the prospect of the lock not recovering in time to actually play a Test.

“For myself, it was a bit of a setback but the trust that Cheik and the boys put in me to come on this tour, and potentially not play at all, was something that meant a lot to me.

“I've been working really hard to get my hamstring right.

“The boys have been supportive and been really positive for me and it's good to be back in the team.”Lukhan Tui strained his hamstring in Sydney last month. Photo: Getty ImagesTui will share the moment with good mate Taniela Tupou on Sunday morning (AEDT), news that made the three-Test lock feel like he was making his Wallabies debut all over again.

“When I first came to Brisbane Nela was my first mate, took me to lunch and bought it,” he said.

“He hasn't done that since but ever since we've built a real tight bond.

“I consider him my brother so when I was sitting in the team meeting and found out he was potentially going to get his debut it kinda like I was going to debut again.”

While the turn of events was special, it wasn’t a suprise for Tui to see Tupou in the 23, just days after becoming eligible to play for Australia.

“With ‘Nela, he's come a long way and he's developed into the player everyone kind of said that he would.

“He's still developing too.

“To see the look in his face and the boys' reaction was something really special.

“I know he will give it his all.”

Australia takes on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.