Kane feels able with Rob Simmons out
KANE Douglas' unexpected homecoming could prove a blessing for Wallaby coach Michael Cheika following the latest injury to lock Rob Simmons.
The Reds star has been ruled out of Saturday night's Rugby Championship decider against the All Blacks in Sydney with a wrist injury sustained against Argentina 10 days ago.
Simmons is expected to undergo surgery on a scaphoid injury in the hope of being fit to play the USA in Chicago next month as part of Australia's World Cup build-up.
Douglas (pictured), who played under Cheika at the Waratahs in 2014, arrived in Brisbane last Friday night, borrowing a jacket from his brother, Gold Coast Titans forward, Luke, to attend the Queensland Reds gala awards ball. He walked out on his European club Leinster to return home with his young family after agreeing to a three-year deal with the Reds to replace former captain James Horwill who is heading to Europe.
Although still recovering from surgery on a bulging disc in his back, Douglas, a 14-Test veteran, refused to rule himself out of contention for the second Bledisloe Test against the All Blacks in Auckland on August 15.
"I haven't done any rugby stuff (since the surgery) so I can't really say," the 202cm, 119kg lock said.
"(But) ... I'd back myself (if I got the call) although that's not up to me."
Douglas' injury was so severe before he went under the knife he had to get out of his car at traffic lights because the pain in his leg was so bad.
"I'm having physio and the body is feeling good - there's been no pain or anything since the surgery," he said.
Australia is looking for its Rugby Championship title, while New Zealand has won all three editions.