x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Australia's Digby Ioane ready to himself fit as a fiddle against England

The Australian is looking for a chance to redeem himself after injuries have slowed his effectiveness, and he views the England wingers as the perfect foil for him to face.

Injuries have taken some of the bite out of Digby Ioane's attack but the Wallabies star says he is finally fully fit again.
Injuries have taken some of the bite out of Digby Ioane's attack but the Wallabies star says he is finally fully fit again.

Australia's Digby Ioane is relishing the chance to launch his comeback against England's "pretty" wingers.

Ioane will line up opposite Chris Ashton in Saturday's Cook Cup showdown at Twickenham, with either Charlie Sharples or Ugo Monye occupying the left wing.

Ioane, 27, has been carrying a knee problem that forced him to miss the Wallabies' past two matches, but is ready to return. "The England wingers are pretty, really good looking. I just can't wait to go against them," he said.

"I'm looking forward to this game because I want to redeem myself. In the last few matches I've been injured and have struggled. Now I'm fully fit and I've got to prove myself again."

Ashton, who returns after missing Saturday's 54-12 rout of Fiji through suspension, left an indelible mark on Australia two years ago.

Running nearly the length of the field to score a brilliantly worked try, he spearheaded England's 35-18 triumph on a memorable day at Twickenham.

Ioane has yet to play against the in-form Saracens winger but has been impressed with what he has seen of the rugby league convert on YouTube.

"It will be really exciting and an honour to play against Ashton," he said. "I've never played against a winger like him so I'm looking forward to it."

South Africa called up the uncapped prop Frans Malherbe yesterday to replace Tendai Mtawarira, who is returning home after suffering heart palpitations, for the rest of the Springboks' tour.

Mtawarira was ruled out after he had a recurrence of his condition ahead of last Saturday's Test against Ireland. Heyneke Meyer, the Springboks coach said: "The player's welfare is the most important consideration at this stage."

Mtawarira, 27, travelled with the rest of the Springboks squad to Edinburgh on Sunday ahead of this weekend's second match of their three-match tour.

"This condition is not life threatening, but needs to be managed properly which is why we thought it would be in Beast's best interest to return to South Africa," said Craig Roberts, the team doctor.

"He needs to have a repeat of the minor procedure he had in Cape Town earlier this year and it's important to notice that he is not at risk by playing with it, and his career is not in jeopardy."


Upcoming autumn internationals matches


Wales v Samoa, 11.30pm (UAE)


Italy v New Zealand, 6pm

Scotland v S Africa, 6.30pm

England v Australia, 6.30pm

Ireland A v Fiji, 9.30pm

France v Argentina, midnight




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