Rugby-Australia prop Alaalatoa eases Rugby Championship fears

  • Rugby
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool D - Australia v Fiji - Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Japan - September 21, 2019 Fiji's Levani Botia in action with Australia's Allan Alaalatoa and Izack Rodda REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa has eased fears he might be an injury doubt for Australia's Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks next month and thinks he might even play in Super Rugby Pacific again this season.

The 29-year-old ACT Brumbies skipper, who also captained his country last year, limped off the pitch with a calf injury early on in a loss to the Waikato Chiefs last weekend.

Alaalatoa will miss Friday's match against the Melbourne Rebels in the final round of the regular season and said the July 8 test against South Africa in Pretoria was a realistic prospect.

"For sure, but for me mostly the target is a couple of weeks," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

"Soft-tissue injuries are all dependent ... on the individual and how they heal, and I'm already ahead of where I'm meant to be."

Australia can ill-afford to lose an experienced tighthead prop in a World Cup year and Alaalatoa's words will be music to the ears of coach Eddie Jones.

The Brumbies are already assured of a place in the Super Rugby playoff quarter-finals but need to beat the Rebels in Canberra to be sure of home advantage in the first knockout round.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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