BRISBANE, Australia // Australia winger Digby Ioane has declared himself fit to tackle the British & Irish Lions in the first Test on Saturday, just four weeks after knee surgery.
The 34-Test veteran had been a real doubt after an arthroscopy to clean up damaged cartilage last month.
"It's feeling good, I'll be ready for this weekend," Ioane, 27, told reporters yesterday after taking a full part in team training sessions.
"I just had to do the little things first to get it right but now I'm right to go. All I have to do is just get picked for this weekend."
Coach Robbie Deans looks certain to select Ioane, who will leave Queensland Reds to join France's Stade Francais on a A$2 million-plus (Dh6.9m) two-year deal at the end of the year, on the left with Israel Folau making his Test debut on the right.
Another Wallaby relishing facing the tourists is Adam Ashley-Cooper, the utility New South Wales Waratahs three-quarter who finally has established himself in the No 13 jersey.
While he has faced Ireland three times, he played on the left wing and at full-back, denying him the chance to lock horns with an opponent he views as a "soldier" of Test rugby: the Irishman Brian O'Driscoll.
O'Driscoll, who is on his fourth tour as a Lion, announced himself to the Australian public with his stunning solo try in the opening Test of the 2001 Lions tour and he has been in terrific form since returning Down Under with the class of 2013.
"I disagree that he's not the explosive centre of 12 years ago. He has the experience and ability to keep turning up," Ashley-Cooper said.
"He's a soldier and that's why he's one of the best centres in the world. You can't presume anything with him.
"He's an absolute freak and I'm looking forward to lining up against him for the first time."
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