Perese pushing for return as Wallabies head to Japan

Wed, 13/10/2021, 08:58 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
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Returning centre Izaia Perese is pushing to be fit in time for the opening Test of the Spring Tour as the Wallabies head to Japan.

Perese earned a re-call to the squad after overcoming a shoulder injury, named as one of four uncapped players for the Spring Tour.

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With incumbent Samu Kerevi struggling with his own injury and the potential looming of Japanese club Suntory vetoing his appearance for the Wallabies, Perese will be pushing his claims for a debut cap on October 23 against Japan, even if it might mean fast-tracking his recovery.

“I think (the shoulder) would be rushing it (for the Japan Test) but in saying that, the contact that I’ve been doing at Waratahs training has been pretty good and I’m pretty confident in my shoulder," he told media on Wednesday at the airport as the side fly out to Japan.

"It just all depends on our physio and our trainers, what they want from and the plan for me moving forward on tour,” he said on a potential return.

“I reckon I would be ready but definitely the week after for Scotland.

“…My physio sat me down and just laid out the whole plan ahead of me right at the start and it gave me a goal to make Spring Tour but I had no expectation about making it, it was just a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Perese picked the injury up during the Waratahs' final game of the season against the Chiefs, named in the Wallabies squad 24 hours to face France in July.

“There was a bit of Wallaby chat during that Trans-Tasman period. I wasn’t worried about Wallabies, I just wanted to earn my stripes so going into that game I wasn’t thinking about the Wallabies at all,” he said.

“It was more a time to show up, play consistent, know my job. It was pretty much the same as how I’d been playing. It was nice to be named to be in the squad.”

As he looks to fight his way into a highly competitive backline, the matured Perese was happy to slot in wherever needed, looking forward to his return to Wallabies life.

“I had a good chat with Dave,” he added, “It wasn’t more so about the tour, more where I am at with my shoulder, mentally, physically and how my fitness was at and that was the last chat I had.

“He gave me some sort of knowledge that I was coming on tour but it wasn’t definite until I got past certain stages of my return to contact with my shoulder.

"… (The conversation) have been all around my shoulder, we haven’t discussed where he’s going to play me, I’m happy to slot in wherever he wants and can use me to be honest. I’ve still got to train well and learn the plays and do everything well.”

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