Wallabies wing Ioane eyes Springboks return
Wallabies winger Digby Ioane delivered the biggest sign he was over his injury on Tuesday - by giving the media the thumbs up in Wellington.
The Australian winger, who starred in this season's Super Rugby and Tri Nations tournaments, was sidelined with a broken thumb after the 22-6 win over Italy in their World Cup opener.
But he showed no signs of pain or injury when addressing reporters on Tuesday, instead showing his desire to play against South Africa on Sunday.
"One hundred per cent," the smiling Ioane said. "I've been doing full training this week. I'm prepared. I did that last week and I'm just ready to play. I'm looking forward to it."
The timing could not have come any better for coach Robbie Deans, who lost winger Drew Mitchell in their 68-22 win over Russia with a hamstring injury.
"Drew (Mitchell)'s done an awesome job," said a genuinely gutted Ioane. "I pray he has a speedy recovery."
Meanwhile, former Australian captain Rocky Elsom has dismissed the word 'momentum' as one of the keys to winning the World Cup.
"I don't know about momentum. You just need three big games really," he said.
"Win, lose or draw this weekend you've got to start afresh. It you're going home obviously it's very disappointing. If you're going into the semis it's a totally different game."
Elsom added the fact they were playing familiar opponents meant they saved a bit of time researching their style of play.
"I think the fact that we're more familiar means we've definitely got more background on them, which means we don't have to pour over as much footage," he said.
"By the same token we know they can be a handful and they're a good side. As much as we know them we know they'll do a good job."
Utility Adam Ashley-Cooper supported Elsom's comments, and added the realisation of the quarterfinals would be all-or-nothing this weekend for four of the eight teams.
"Everyone's aware it's the business end," Ashley-Cooper said.
"We know them but we know that we're going to need a really big performance to get past these guys."
"I think we need to have a lift in intensity and urgency and we'll approach it like it's our last game, because the reality is if we don't get past this we're going home."
Deans will announce the Wallabies team to play South Africa on Friday.
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