Ioane back for Boks

In-form Wallaby wing Digby Ioane will start against the Springboks in the quarter-final.

Director of coaching David Nucifora told the media that Ioane has overcome a thumb injury that kept him sidelined since their opening match of the tournament against Australia. ‘He has been training freely, he ticks all the boxes and is go to go,’ he said.

Nucifora added that outside of midfielder Rob Horne, there were no other serious injury concerns.

Meanwhile, Matt Hodgson has been brought into the Wallabies’ squad as official cover for openside David Pocock. Hodgson joined the team on Monday as a replacement for loose forward Wycliff Palu. Palu suffered a hamstring strain in the match against the USA and has since returned to Australia.

Palu’s injury may be a blessing in disguise, as the Wallabies have lacked a genuine alternative to Pocock in the pool stages. When Pocock has been unavailable through injury or has left the field, the Wallabies’ forward effort has suffered.

Robbie Deans and company will be hoping that Hodgson will make a similar impact to that of Pocock if the premier No 7 has to leave the field at any stage during the play-offs.

Lachie Turner will also join the squad as a replacement for Drew Mitchell. Mitchell strained his hamstring in Sunday’s game against Russia and will play no further part in the tournament.