Mitchell thought he would miss Rugby World Cup

Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell has admitted that he thought he would miss the 2011 Rugby World Cup after he broke his ankle playing Super Rugby earlier this year.

In April the Waratahs winger wrote off his chances of playing in New Zealand after he badly dislocated and broke his right ankle while playing for the Waratahs against the Reds in round 10 of Super Rugby

After falling awkwardly chasing a kick, his ankle was left at right angles and he had to be sedated while medical staff put it back into place.

The pain of the horrific injury was immediately coupled with the gloomy prospect of missing rugby’s showpiece tournament.

“Yes, a number of times,” Mitchell reflected with the IRB when asked whether he thought his season was finished.

“The first thing, probably five seconds after it happened, looking at it (the ankle) and the position it was in, it was funny how quickly my thoughts went to the World Cup.

“It was a pretty long ride and one I had not traveled. I have not really had a major injury before, certainly not one of this magnitude in the year that it is. It is pretty satisfying to be in the position I am now in.”

When specialists told him there was still a chance of him making the Rugby World Cup, it spurred his recovery.

His effort and belief has paid off handsomely, with Australia’s leading try scorer at RWC 2007 selected on the bench for the Wallabies’ second match against Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Mitchell is thrilled to be back in contention for his 57th cap, saying: “For me, it was really important that I hung on to that hope. “

“To get through those long, tedious days, I really had to hang on to the fact that there was still a chance.

“That was big thing for me, using that as sort of a carrot to get back and through all the rehab.”

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