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Tomane wants open wing spot

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

CANBERRA - Like any winger worth his salt, Wallabies flyer Joe Tomane knows how to hit a gap.

But this one might just be his tightest one yet.

With Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins now in Japan, and red-hot Henry Speight still out for three games before becoming eligible for the Wallabies, Tomane shapes as the man most likely to join Adam Ashley-Cooper on the wings against the All Blacks on August 16 in Sydney.

While Speight's push for an immediate Wallabies call-up has been hampered by a hamstring injury, he's expected to recover well before his September 11 eligibility date, and has built a reputation for hitting the ground running.

It's a fact not lost on nine-Test Tomane, who knows he'll have to make the most of any opportunities to lock down a wing spot for the Test season ahead.

"If I'm lucky enough, it definitely is a chance for me to become an incumbent winger," Tomane said.

"But I'm real excited for Speighty. I really can't wait to see him rip up.

"He's probably been one of the form wingers in Australian rugby, maybe even Super Rugby, in the last couple of years."

While Tomane, 24, and Speight both star for the Brumbies, a torrid run of injuries for them in 2014 means they haven't started a game together since round one against the Queensland Reds.

Tomane, who has suffered an ankle ligament injury and a cheekbone fracture throughout the year, admitted that there were times during the season where he felt his spot in the Wallabies squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship was at risk due to a lack of game time.

"Not going to lie, it probably did cross my mind a couple of times," he said.

"But you look at guys like Drew Mitchell who had serious injuries and were able to come back and play for the Wallabies again.

"I just tried to draw inspiration. I was fortunate my injuries weren't as serious."





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