Tahu says he is ready for the big time

Rugby League convert Timana Tahu says that he is ready to start for the Wallabies and this comes ahead of Australia’s Test against the Springboks at one of the world’s most intimidating sporting arenas.

Tahu is set to get some game time in the Wallabies second Test against South Africa at Coca Cola (Ellis) Park and the question is whether he will start or whether he will come off the bench.

Tahu gets the chance to step up after Berrick Barnes was forced from the field in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Barnes has returned to Australia with Dan Vickerman who also picked up a shoulder injury. Both players look set to miss the Wallabies remaining Tri Nations clashes.

When Barnes went off last week coach Robbie Deans sent another league convert in to cover in Ryan Cross at 13. Mortlock then moved over to 12.

Deans now has to decide whether to move Mortlock again or to leave him at 13 and bring in Tahu. As Mortlock is one of the best numbers thirteens in the world of rugby it makes sense to leave him where he plays best and bring in Tahu.

Deans is said to be a big fan of Tahu and has been known to spend hours after normal training with him.

Deans was also instrumental into turning Tahu into a No.12 by giving him an opportunity to play in that position with the Australian A team after the Waratahs used him intermittently as a winger.

Tahu says that he feels indebted to Deans for giving him a chance.

“I’m ready. I’ve been preparing all season for this moment, and if it comes up I’ll be delighted,” Tahu told the Canberra Times.

“It was a frustrating few months during the Super 14 but Robbie knew where I was suited, and that No.12 was my best position. Robbie gives a lot of players confidence, and makes us believe in ourselves.

“If you have a positive coach around, you really want to play for him. It is a good environment at the moment, and everyone wants to play for each other.”

Tahu has had impressive first season in Rugby Union considering that he missed a large part of the Super 14 due to a hamstring injury.

He says that he believes that he is confident enough in the basics of the game to handle whatever he was asked to do.

“Getting to know the game playing in different positions has been hard, but I think I’m up to scratch now,” Tahu said.

“So if it does come to a situation on Saturday where I do start, the team and Robbie will have confidence in me, and I’ll have confidence in myself. “

“It is also a lot better playing with the Wallabies, and because you are playing with the best it makes your job so much easier.”



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