Palu hoping for World Cup chance
Australia forward Wycliff Palu is banking on the credit built up over 36 Tests carrying considerable weight when his World Cup fate is determined next week.
The Wallabies' 30-man squad will be named on August 18 - eight days before Palu's planned comeback from long-term shoulder and knee injuries. As hard as he has worked on his rehabilitation, Palu acknowledges there is no guarantee his body will hold up for the duration of a tough World Cup campaign.
But he is hoping past deeds will be enough to convince coach Robbie Deans that he is worth a calculated gamble, and the 29-year-old said: "They know what I can do. I don't usually take long to get back to full fitness and I'm definitely mentally fresh after the long break."
The destructive number eight will play his first game for two months when he lines up for the Australian Barbarians against Canada on the Gold Coast on August 26.
He has kept the Wallabies boss up to date with his progress, speaking regularly on the phone and sending vision of his workouts to Deans in South Africa.
He added: "I've been working very hard (in rehab) and hopefully that counts for something. It's been frustrating watching and I just want to get back out there and rip in. If I do get picked I will definitely be up for it."
Palu played just six Super Rugby games for the Waratahs this season but was hampered by hamstring problems before he fractured his shoulder blade in the penultimate game of the regular season.
Minor knee surgery further hampered his progress but the 29-year-old is confident there will be no further problems.
"I'm not quite sure what they are thinking in regards to the World Cup as I haven't been given any indication," Palu said. "I've been playing it week by week and just trying to get on top of the injuries but, like I said, I am ready to go if they want me.
"I feel in good shape."