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Monday, December 19, 2005


Other Unions: Lyons back as an ace in the pack

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
By James MacSmith
Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tough back-rower David Lyons is steeling himself for his biggest season yet after finally shrugging off a chronic groin injury.

Lyons missed the Wallabies' ill-fated November tour of Europe after having groin and hernia operations and his ball-running skills were sorely missed.

He says he is feeling better than he has for years and is looking forward to the inaugural Super 14 season and to reclaiming his spot in the Wallabies line-up.

"The last three weeks I've felt fitter and quicker than I have for a long time," Lyons said.

"I can't remember the last time I felt this good. Before the operation I always had to get to training an hour before it started just to warm up and it all became a bit of a drag. I wouldn't be that keen on it all.

"But now it's all good again. I was disappointed to miss the tour but it has turned out to be a good thing. Now I hope I can stay injury free."

Sacked Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said George Smith had emerged as a genuine option at No.8 on the November tour. Lyons welcomed the competition and said he was keen to prove himself again.

"George Smith had a good tour," he said. "But I still have something to offer at No.8 as a ball-running forward. Now that I'm fully fit again that will be part of my game I will really be concentrating on. There's room for a ball-running back-rower in the Wallabies side.

"It's been a hard slog but I'm starting to come out of it and I'm hoping 2006 will be a really big year for me. We'll be looking to build on what we did last year at the Waratahs and it will be a very important year for the Wallabies too.

"With some of the other guys coming back from injury, there should be some competition for spots in the back row."

The 2004 John Eales medallist was one of Australia's in-form players during the 2005 season.

He was a key figure in the Waratahs' charge to the Super 12 final and played in all 13 games. The 40-Test veteran started in seven Tests before breaking down with his groin injury one game before the end of the Tri Nations campaign, in which the Wallabies failed to win a game.

Lyons was touted as a possible answer for Australia's front-row woes. But the 25-year-old said he was not considering a move to prop.

"I definitely want to stay at No.8," he said. "It's a position I enjoy."
Lyons was becoming a fabulous player before his injury!  
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