Rugby Championship News

Mitchell happy to be back in the Wallaby fold





Drew Mitchell was a big part of the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign and was expected to be named in the Wallabies squad against Ireland and France.
An ankle injury however prevented him from being selected.

Last year he hit form at the world cup and was in line to become the tournament’s top try scorer but the Wallabies were knocked out of the world cup which ended his chances. When that happened he had scored seven tries.

After missing the Wallabies first three Tests of the year due to that ankle injury he admitted that he did not know what to expect when he arrived at the Wallabies training camp on Tuesday.

Mitchell,24 was rushed back into the 30-man squad for the TriNations after he made a successful return with Australia A in the Pacific Nations Cup.

“In all honesty I haven’t even met most of the coaching staff,” Mitchell told Sportal when asked what role he expects to play under new coach Robbie Deans.

“So I guess that’s something that once I start training with the guys and get a feel for what’s happening, I’ll have more of an understanding.”

“I guess watching from the outside there is more of an attacking intent out there at the moment so hopefully that suits (my) game.”

Deans’ arrival with the Wallabies has shaken things up and competition for places is tougher than ever. Mitchell said that he had doubts over his short-term Wallabies prospects.

“I guess there’s always that doubt that comes into mind and I guess it’s probably enhanced by how well guys (who) have got their opportunity have been going,” Mitchell said.

“Peter (Hynes) obviously has been going really well in every game he’s played and obviously Lachlan Turner got his opportunity on the weekend as well.”

“There’s always that sort of doubt and on top of that Digby Ioane played really well within the Australia A program so (I’m) certainly thrilled to get that opportunity to be involved in the squad.”

During his time with Australia A Mitchell switched between wing and full-back in the Pacific Nations Cup. With Cameron Shepherd now being ruled out until the end of the year with a a broken ankle, Mitchell’s recent experience in the No.15 jersey could be decisive.

“I’ve played a couple of Tests there at full-back before and obviously hearing the news and also watching what happened to Cameron was disappointing,” Mitchell said.

“Not only from a Wallabies perspective but also he’s a good friend of mine so you certainly don’t want to see someone go through and injury like that.”

“But I guess there’s now an opportunity there and if called upon I’d be thrilled to play.”

He added: “Having played two full games (at full-back) I’m comfortable there now and also just having played with the guys around you certainly makes you feel more comfortable as well.”

“I’ve played with everyone in the Wallabies before, albeit with the exception of just a couple, but I’d certainly be comfortable there.”

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