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Wallaby Pocock a doubtful starter
Russell Jackson
07:03 AEST Wed Nov 28 2012

Champion flanker David Pocock appears set to make his long-awaited return from injury off the bench in the Wallabies' European tour finale against Wales on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

Based on the formations at Wallabies training at the University of Cardiff on Tuesday, Pocock will not be starting at Millennium Stadium.

The 24-year-old spent the bulk of the session running with the reserve forwards.

Pocock has not played since injuring his knee in the Wallabies' loss to the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney in August.

He was expected to return against England in game two of the tour in London ago but strained a calf muscle at training.

Explosive winger Digby Ioane looks set for a place on the bench for a second consecutive week as he is eased back from a knee injury with Drew Mitchell likely to keep a wing spot while Nick Cummins will be on the other flank.

Kane Douglas trained with heavy strapping on the knee he injured in the opening game of the tour, which Australia lost 33-6 to France, but he looks in line for a start.

NSW Waratahs goal-kicking halfback Brendan McKibbin trained with the Wallabies just six hours after arriving in Cardiff on Tuesday morning and is set to make his Test debut for the Wallabies off the bench.

McKibbin was rushed in to replace No.9 Brett Sheehan who is returning to Australia after suffering an ankle injury in his starting debut for the Wallabies in last weekend's 22-19 win over Italy in Florence.

"I'm extremely fatigued from the flight but I'm excited to see some familiar faces again and it's good to be here in Cardiff leading up to a potential Test match," McKibbin said.

"Someone picked me up from the airport and we went on a bit of a tourist drive down to Cardiff. I know a bit about Wales now."

Likely Wallabies team (15-1): Berrick Barnes, Nick Cummins, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Tapuai, Drew Mitchell, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Scott Higginbotham, Nathan Sharpe (capt), Kane Douglas, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.


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