Tune struggles in return to training
May 30, 2000

Ben Tune's worrying battle with injury took another turn for the worse tonight when the Wallaby winger was unable to complete training with Queensland.

Tune entered the session confident about playing in Saturday night's national championship clash with New South Wales in Sydney but his hopes were soured just minutes later.

Tune immediately reported more pain in the troublesome foot injury that has sidelined him since March and Reds coach John Connolly admitted the injury was again "a concern" for the 23-year-old.

Reds officials will wait until Wednesday morning for more news on Tune but they are already bracing for the worst, throwing a cloud over his immediate Test hopes. Tune desperately wanted to play against the Waratahs to prove his fitness before the squad for the first Test against Argentina on June 17 was named next Wednesday. Before today's session, Tune did not rule out playing on Saturday night and then backing up for next Tuesday night's home clash with the ACT Brumbies to squeeze in as much rugby as possible.

He could only say he was certain to play against the Waratahs "at this stage" but it was soon obvious those words were in jeopardy after another setback. Tune has dealt with more than his fair share of injury in his short but outstanding career, shaking off his much-publicised knee problem to play in the World Cup last year.

He watched most of Queensland's Super 12 campaign from the stands this year and was still out of luck when he tried to return to rugby with his club GPS last weekend.

There was better news on Queensland's other winger, Damian Smith, who is hoping to return from injury against the Waratahs. The Reds are already without star backrowers Toutai Kefu and David Wilson for Saturday night's clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Kefu is out for up to a month with a knee problem while Wilson is racing the clock to return from a fractured sternum before the opening Test.

Reds star Tim Horan is at least a confirmed starter as he prepares for his final fling with Queensland before taking up a contract with English club Saracens. After a stellar career with the Reds, Horan will play his final match against the Brumbies at Ballymore next Tuesday.

The 30-year-old centre trained today and insisted there would be the usual desire to beat NSW on Saturday night despite both teams missing the Super 12 finals.

Brought to you by AAP

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