Australia's Drew Mitchell takes the ball during last year's Rugby World Cup final match against New Zealand.
Australia's Drew Mitchell takes the ball during last year's Rugby World Cup final match against New Zealand. Rob Taggart

Wallabies keen for veteran Mitchell to return to side

RUGBY UNION: The struggling Wallabies hope veteran winger Drew Mitchell can be fit to line up against South Africa on Saturday after not playing for five months with groin problems.

Despite his lack of match practice the 70-cap veteran winger will play in Saturday night's Test at Suncorp Stadium if he can pass a full-contact fitness session.

He had hoped to be available for last month's Bledisloe Cup opener.

"I think we may have turned the corner. Things are going all right,” Mitchell said.

"It's been a bit of an ongoing process. It was a little bit more complicated than we thought.”

Mitchell and Will Genia are the only European-based players left in the Wallabies camp after Matt Giteau's ankle injury and Adam Ashley-Cooper's return to French club Bordeaux.

Mitchell is the only winger of any real experience in the Wallabies squad with coach Michael Cheika's other options - Dane Haylett-Petty, Henry Speight, Luke Morahan, Reece Hodge and Sefa Naivalu - having only 13 Test caps between them.



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