Dunning down but not out

Matt Dunning has been ruled out of the 2009 Super 14 but hopes to return for Australia in the Tri-Nations.

The front-ranker injured his Achilles in the Wallabies’ recent beating of the Barbarians at Wembley. The snapped tendon could sideline Dunning for up to nine months, but the 29-year-old is adamant this is not the end of his career.

“I’m pretty confident of coming back. There’s no doubt it’s probably going to be a long road back but I’ll speak to my specialist today and probably look to get operated on early in the week.

“They say six to nine months, these things, but I’m a fast healer, maybe four to six.”

Prop Sekope Kepu was also injured in the win but is expected back ahead of the Waratahs’ Super 14 campaign.