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McKibbin called to Wallabies tour
By Russell Jackson
06:12 AEST Tue Nov 27 2012

Brendan McKibbin is making a hasty mental adjustment from pre-season training to Test debut preparation after being summoned to join Australia's rugby squad in Europe.

The goalkicking NSW Waratahs halfback woke in Sydney on Monday to a text calling him to Cardiff for the season-ending Test against Wales on Saturday after Brett Sheehan was ruled out by the ankle damage suffered in the weekend win over Italy.

He still trained with the Waratahs in the morning before departing and is likely to fill a bench spot at Millennium Stadium, with Nick Phipps set to resume the starting halfback role.

"I've spoken to (Wallabies coach) Robbie (Deans) a few times in the past year and I've been through the plays, policies and structure so I'm familiar with things, as much as I can be from the outside anyway," said McKibbin.

"It's a bit of a shock to the system that I'll be preparing for a game in a week when I was expecting to be preparing to run up the Coogee stairs and what not."

"That's a bit of a change in mental application but it's pretty full on at the Waratahs at the moment so I feel ready.

"If given the opportunity I'm sure I'll take it with both hands."

Sheehan is to undergo an MRI scan with fears he has an ankle syndesmosis injury.

The Western Force halfback was making his run-on debut for the Wallabies in Florence six years after his Test debut but it ended cruelly when he was replaced after 31 minutes after an Italian forward fell across his leg.

McKibbin is the fourth Wallabies replacement on the four-Test tour following on from the Melbourne Rebels trio of Scott Higginbotham, Mitch Inman and Caderyn Neville.

NSW Waratahs lock Kane Douglas has re-joined the squad after missing the Italian leg in order to stay near his ill mother in London while he continued rehabilitation from a knee injury.

Douglas will be assessed by the Wallabies medical staff early in the week to determine his availability for the tour finale.

His return would further bolster the second-row resources, which took a hit when Rob Simmons was suspended after the tour-opening Test in Paris.

The Wallabies' appeal against Simmons' eight-game sentence will take place at Bristol on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning AEDT).


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