Wallabies sweating on Coleman injury

Date published: November 15 2017

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

Coleman hurt 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 team-mates 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.

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham was confident Coleman would be fit to play against England.

“He's good actually, he pulled up really well out of the game so he should be good yeah,” he told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

“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,” said Larkham.

Matt Philip would be in line to be elevated to the starting line-up behind Tui, with uncapped lock Blake Enever the other second-row competing for a spot in the matchday 23.

Karmichael Hunt has 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 added.

“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.”