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Pocock on course for Italy return


Russell Jackson

Brumbies and Wallabies star David Pocock.

Brumbies and Wallabies star David Pocock. Photo: Andrew Campbell

WALLABY David Pocock remains on track to return for next weekend's rugby Test against Italy in Florence but Kane Douglas's chances of playing out the remainder of the European tour are doubtful.

Coach Robbie Deans said Douglas, who has a knee injury, would be assessed before the team travelled to Italy with the strong possibility a second player would be called into the squad.

Standby forward Scott Higginbotham joined the squad in Britain this weekend and is available to face Italy after serving a suspension for striking All Blacks' skipper Richie McCaw.

Pocock was expected to make his long-awaited return from a knee injury in game two of the tour against England before he had a setback.

The Brumbies recruit trained strongly in Paris on the opening week of the tour before suffering a calf strain in London.

Having used more than 40 players in 13 Tests this year, mostly due to injury, Deans was loathe to say Pocock would be right to face the Italians.

''Given this year's history, I'm not going to make any predictions … I would suggest he would be right,'' Deans said.

''It's a not a major (injury) … He's coming back off an injury and we're just making sure that when he returns, he's good to go.''

Pocock hasn't played since he damaged knee ligaments in the Wallabies' opening Bledisloe Cup match with New Zealand in August.

Higginbotham was drafted in for reserve lock Rob Simmons, who was banned for eight matches for a lifting tackle in the Wallabies' 33-6 loss to France.

While the Wallabies are set to appeal against the severity of the ban, it's believed they are resigned to losing the Queenslander for the remainder of the tour.

Deans has a second player in mind to call into the squad but said that would be communicated when the time was right.

Australia play Wales in the fourth and final leg of the European tour in Cardiff on November 25.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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