Gerrard back in training

Injured Australia winger Mark Gerrard has begun pre-season training in Canberra just eight weeks after rupturing the medial ligament in his left knee in the first minute of the Wallabies opening World Cup match against Japan.

The Brumbies flyer has backed himself to return to international rugby in 2008 after making a speedier-than-expected return from the knee injury.

Gerrard’s early exit after he was escorted from the field was one of the enduring images of the Wallabies’ failed World Cup campaign, which saw the two-time world champs get booted out in the quarter-finals by England.

It also continued a heart-breaking injury run for the 25-year-old international – one he hopes is now behind him.

“I’m feeling quite good about it,” Gerrard told Sportal.

“I’m almost fully recovered now and hopefully I can get rid of the injury jinx. It will be my first pre-season for about four years.”

“I’ve always been injured at this time. I’m looking forward to getting my knee right and getting back on deck.”

“There’s a big year ahead and I know I can get back to my best.”

Gerrard is still haunted by his early exit from the World Cup after fighting tooth and nail just to win a spot in the tour party.

“It was really disappointing because I had worked so hard to get there,” he said.

“It was pretty tough and took me a good week and a bit to get over it.”

“I was really down and disappointed with what happened until the family came over to France.”

“It wasn’t the ideal situation but having my wife and kids around made it a lot easier.”

At least Gerrard can console himself with the fact he has age on his side and will get another shot at World Cup redemption in four years’ time.

With Stephen Larkham and George Gregan gone – and more retirements imminent – Gerrard shapes as one of the key components of the Wallabies’ planned revival.

“It’s an interesting time for Australian rugby coming up,” said Gerrard.

“We have to pretty much change the way we play.”


365 Digital

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