'I don't think I've done enough': Tupou's frank Wallabies admission amid rehab journey

Wed, May 10, 2023, 5:28 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Eddie Jones at the MCG | Press Conference

Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou is desperate to return to the field, conceding he hasn't lived up to his own expectations in the past.

Tupou is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered during the Spring Tour, which ruled him out of this year's Super Rugby Pacific season.

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It's his second major setback in just over a year after suffering a long-term calf injury with the Queensland Reds in 2022.

Upon his return during the England series last July, the 27-year-old said it was one of the 'best things to happen to him' mentally and physically.

However, the time off has led to Tupou reflecting on his Wallabies career, confessing he hadn't reached his potential at the International level.

“I don’t think (I’ve delivered on my potential). That’s something I'm working really hard towards," he told reporters.

"Sitting back this time and looking at what I've done in the jersey, I don't think I've done enough and hopefully when and if I’m back in the team, I can get to a level that I think I can get to.

“…I think after four months (on the sidelines), I miss playing. It’s hard watching the Reds playing without me out there, I wish I was out there trying to help and be a part of the team.”

Tupou is eyeing off a return in July through club footy, hoping to press his case for the back end of the Rugby Championship.

“At the moment I’m focused on getting the strength back in my Achilles and calf, I think I’m two weeks away from running

“I can’t wait for that but I’m not sure (about return), maybe around July I’ll be back playing some club footy and then it’s up to Eddie whether he wants me to be a part of the team.

“My focus is just on getting back to running and hopefully get some game time.

“…Eddie has told me to focus on my rehab and he just wanted me to practice my carry and footwork, look for the space.”

He concedes he needs to get some valuable game-time into him with either club side Brothers or potentially Australia A if he wishes to have the confidence necessary to compete at the highest level.

“I’m lucky enough that I’ve got a few months before the World Cup for me to get that confidence back playing club footy and earning my way back into International level

“If I had only a month or two before the World Cup, I wouldn’t be as comfortable. Coming back from a big injury like this, you need a few games to get that confidence back and I’m lucky enough to have that 3-4 months to try and get back.”

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