Hodge under Spring Tour injury cloud

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies' run of unlucky no. 13s appears to have continued with Reece Hodge under an injury cloud for the Spring Tour.

Hodge appeared at the Rugby Australia Awards in crutches on Friday night after suffering an ankle injury during training this week.

The 24-year-old is set to go for scans on Saturday ahead of the team's trip to Japan on Saturday night.

His potential absence makes Samu Kerevi's return in a regional Sevens tournament this weekend even more significant.

Kerevi re-joined the Wallabies in camp for the first time since suffering a biceps injury in the third June Test against Ireland in Sydney.

Cheika is considering rushing the powerful centre back into the mix for the All Blacks clash in Japan but a lack of game time is an issue. 

There were hopes Kerevi could return in the NRC this weekend, like injured backrower Pete Samu for Canberra, but Brisbane City missed the finals.

So, instead, the Wallabies are making plans for Kerevi to play in the Byron Bay sevens on Saturday for Brisbane club Souths.

“Samu is an important player, we see him as an important player in this squad for a few different reasons,” Cheika said on Thursday.

“It would have been handy for him to have a game or two under his belt. We are thinking about letting him have a run in a seven tournament up in Byron Bay on Saturday, so we might even let him have a run there so he gets a feel for making some tackles again and get a bit of confidence. And then send him up (to Japan) the next day.

“I think playing some footy would be ideal, any type of footy, before going into a Test match would be ideal.”

 The Wallabies head to Japan on Saturday ahead of the third Bledisloe in Tokyo.