Timani among four Wallabies in doubt for French Test
Injury concern ... Sitaleki Timani. Photo: Getty Images
Starting lock Sitaleki Timani is among four players who remain in doubt for the Wallabies opening Test against France this weekend.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was on Monday waiting on medical updates on the fitness of Timani, flanker David Pocock, hooker Stephen Moore and winger Digby Ioane.
Timani is the only one of the four who played in the Wallabies Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane last month.
He was replaced by Kane Douglas in the 20th minute of that match after his lower back tightened up and has been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.
Ioane injured his knee against Argentina in Rosario the week before, Moore strained a hamstring in training ahead of the Springboks match in Pretoria, while Pocock is coming back from a long-term knee injury.
Deans said he would err on the side of caution for all of the players, despite the urge to roll out his best players for a Test on which international rankings may hinge.
"They're all going well but it's a matter of, particularly with the travel, whether they're good enough to enter the fray this week," he said.
Wallabies coaching staff have spent considerable time pouring over footage of France's previous outings this year, as well as Heineken Cup and Top 14 games.
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has whittled his squad down to 23, declaring goal-kicking halfback Morgan Parra fit to play, while also re-introducing backrowers Yannick Nyanga and Damien Chouly, both of whom have not played in the French side for at least three years.
"It's a game that's important to both teams; both teams have stated that," Deans said. "Our guys are very enthusiastic about this trip. They're looking forward to it. Sure, it's been off the back of a big calendar year, but within the group you wouldn't know that."