Wallabies lock Kane Douglas promising to repay Michael Cheika's Rugby World Cup faith
September 2, 2015
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Kane Douglas is confident he's approaching full fitness as he prepares for his likely Rugby World Cup role of "hitting rucks and hurting people".

Few players will go into the World Cup with less match time under their belts in the past six months than recalled Wallabies lock Douglas, who has played just 17 minutes of Test rugby off the bench in the Bledisloe Cup decider since he underwent back surgery in March; hence he seems certain to be given start in the World Cup warm-up match against the United States Eagles in Chicago on Saturday.

Coach Michael Cheika showed enormous faith in the lock's abilities when selecting him ahead of the likes of former skipper James Horwill in his Cup squad in the wake of his recent return from Irish club Leinster. And the time is fast approaching for Douglas to show the faith was justified.

"The body's feeling alright," Douglas said. "It's been a tough couple of days [at Notre Dame] ... as much as it feels sore right now, I know it's only because we had a hard session today."

Douglas rated his current fitness at about 90%, saying "I'm hoping with the training I'll be able to get there".

"I obviously want to be 100% fit by game one of the World Cup."

New South Wales Waratahs lock Kane Douglas goes on the attack, Waratahs v Hurricanes, Super Rugby, Allianz Stadium, May 3, 2014
Kane Douglas © Getty Images

Douglas appears to be pitted against Will Skelton for a starting role at the World Cup, locking alongside a lineout specialist - either Rob Simmons or Dean Mumm.

"It's good to have a lot of guys in the same position around," Douglas said. "The competition is only going to make us better."

He hoped to sit down with Cheika later in the week to discuss his role, but he said he had a fair idea what would be required after playing under Cheika with the Waratahs through their Super Rugby title-winning campaign in 2014.

"Back then he wanted me to keep working hard, hit rucks and try and hurt people when I do," Douglas said.

It's not just the faith shown by Cheika motivating Douglas to succeed at the World Cup.

"I'm not just doing it for Cheik, I'm doing it for myself, my family and the other boys," he said.

Douglas insisted the Wallabies would not underestimate the US team, who are ranked 16th in the world.

"I know they've got a big, physical team with a few big second-rowers in Greg Peterson and Hayden Smith," Douglas said. "They're pretty good over the ball. It'll be a big focus for us tying to nullify those threats and be really aggressive on those rucks."

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