Wallabies hopeful Connal McInerney will tweak his tackle technique after a pair of head knocks left him fearing his "luck ran out" in search of a Test debut.
The ACT Brumbies hooker thought his hopes of a call up for the Wallabies' Spring Tour had faded before coach Dave Rennie handed the uncapped 26-year-old a reprieve.
Now McInerney is pushing for a Test debut in the Wallabies' tour opener against Japan at Oita Stadium on October 23, despite being limited to just four Super Rugby games this year.
A broken fibula kept McInerney sidelined for the bulk of the season before a head knock doused his hopes of featuring in the Wallabies' series win over France.
Now McInerney is working with coaches to alter his tackling technique in the hope of finding more consistent playing time.
"[I get] more than I would like, the last two have come in succession, only four weeks between them," McInerney said about the frequency of concussions.
"Before that I was probably getting one every year on average, which probably isn't too bad in the grand scheme but bad enough to worry about it a little bit. There's been guys with worse luck than me.
"I can definitely be smarter at training. I've spoken to coaches about my tackle technique, you can always improve with that.
"The broken fibula, I probably couldn't really change that, that was just a matter of mass versus mass, I couldn't really avoid that. The head knocks, I could probably just work on my tackle technique."
McInerney is one of four hookers on tour with the Wallabies, joining club teammate Folau Fainga'a, Feleti Katiu'u and Tolu Latu.
The Canberra junior has featured in Wallabies camps over the past two years but injuries have forced him to watch from afar as Fainga'a and fellow Brumby Lachie Lonergan played Test rugby.
"I thought my luck ran out a bit, having been there during the French series and with things not going my way, I got another concussion, so I wasn't able to take my opportunity as best as I could," McInerney said.
"It came as a bit of a surprise, this one, and I'm feeling pretty fortunate and quite lucky that a couple of things went my way. Just considering the year I've had, I didn't really think I was much of a chance. I just haven't really played much footy this year and had an interrupted year.
"It would be better if I'd played a few more games, that would help me more than being called in and out of squads to be honest. I'm pretty confident with where I'm at, I've matured a lot in the past three years, I've changed so much both as a person and a player.
"It's hard to judge that when I've only played probably 100 minutes of rugby this year. I'll get a better idea if I stay fit and healthy, if I play more games next year I'll get a better idea of where I'm at."
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