Australia v British & Irish Lions, 2nd Test, June 29
Tomane primed for Test return
June 26, 2013

League convert Joe Tomane is finally set to play his second Test for the Wallabies after a year of sheer bad luck and frustration.

Cleared of a broken toe, Tomane is poised to replace Digby Ioane (shoulder) on Australia's left wing for Saturday night's must-win match against the British & Irish Lions at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium.

The Brumbies flyer made his debut more than 12 months ago when he played strongly in the Wallabies 9-6 upset loss to Scotland in atrocious conditions in Newcastle. But Tomane suffered a serious ankle injury just days later in training, ruling him out of the rest of the 2012 season.

After a convincing Super Rugby return from surgery this year, the former Melbourne Storm and Gold Coast Titans NRL winger was on track to play in the first Test loss to the Lions before busting his toe in a tackling drill a week before.

"The second game has eluded me for a year now. Hopefully I'm fit and ready," Tomane said on Wednesday. "I think it's going to feel like my debut again. Hopefully if I do get selected, I'm going to treat it like it's a normal game. I've done all the rehab I've had to to be ready for this Test. If I get the chance I'm sure I'll be ready to go."

With centres Christian Lealiifano (head knock) and Adam Ashley-Cooper (shoulder) both improving from injuries, Australia's backline may only have two changes with Tomane replacing Ioane and Kurtley Beale possibly starting at fullback for Berrick Barnes (head knock). Tomane would mark up on giant Welsh winger Alex Cuthbert in the second Test.

"It's a massive hole because Digby gets through a huge amount of work for us," Tomane said. It's a massive opportunity for me or (Nick Cummins)."

© AAP

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