Sport

Hooker Hanson seizes Wallaby opportunity

James Hanson in action for the Reds in the Super 15.
James Hanson in action for the Reds in the Super 15. Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images

ONE man's trash is another man's treasure.

That was the motto hooker James Hanson adopted when Saia Fainga'a broke his hand at Wallabies training during the week.

The misfortune opened the way for the 24-year-old to possibly make his debut for Australia off the bench against the All Blacks in tomorrow night's Bledisloe Cup dead rubber at Suncorp Stadium.

Hanson admitted it was unfortunate his opportunity had come at the expense of his Reds teammate.

"It was bittersweet - you never wish injuries upon anyone," he said. "But that's when opportunities come up and I'm thrilled to be able to take mine."

It will not be the first time Hanson has benefited at the expense of Fainga'a. He started in just three of the first nine Super Rugby matches in 2012 due to injuries, but Hanson said the pair had enjoyed a healthy rivalry.

"Saia challenges you and pushes you to get better," he said.

"It's been a great rivalry between us over the last few years and hopefully that continues."

Hanson may even look back on this season a few years down the track and see it as a turning point.

"Even last year was good for me when we won the premiership - that was my first year of Super 15," he said.

"But this year has been great, being able to start Super 15 games consecutively, and hopefully getting my first cap for the Wallabies."

Hanson said he would relish the challenge of lining up against Keven Mealamu, who will notch his 100th cap for the All Blacks tomorrow night.

"For me, he's someone I look up to. We're quite similar in stature - he's quite short for a hooker, but he plays a lot bigger than he actually is. That's what makes him so difficult to play - he uses his size to his advantage and doesn't let it be a negative."

Should Hanson take the field, he would become the 865th player to appear for the Wallabies in a game given Test status by the Australian Rugby Union.

He would also be the 12th new cap to have featured for the Wallabies in 11 Tests this year.

There was more bad news for Australia on the injury front yesterday, with prop Ben Alexander forced to withdraw after failing to overcome a wrist complaint.

His place in the starting line-up will be taken by Queensland Reds prop James Slipper, with the versatile Sekope Kepu coming on to the bench.

Kepu, who is returning from a knee injury, last appeared for the Wallabies during the opening Bledisloe Cup Test of the year in Sydney.

Topics:  all blacks, bledisloe cup, james hanson, wallabies



Transport not so splendid

Festival goers wait in line for a bus home after attending the Splendour in the Grass music festival.

Festival goers vent anger.

RACQ says good riddance to Wicked rubbish

TOO MUCH: A Wicked Van spotted in Byron Main Beach car park.

RACQ welcome State Government action on offensive Wicked Campers

Splendour in the Grass’ inspiration and heart

Szymon Borzestowski’s album Tigersapp was honoured at Splendour in the Grass

Splendour's emotional tribute.

Latest deals and offers

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

Michael Jackson's jailed doctor wants his license back

Conrad Murray wants his medical licence back.

Pokemon Go: "Trading" on the horizon as game evolves

No Caption

Pokemon GO players will soon be able to trade with other trainers

Bindi Irwin: ‘I’ve lived 10 lives in one lifetime’

Bindi meets her fans.

SHE'S just turns 18 but Bindi's life has been full of experiences

Transport not so splendid

Festival goers wait in line for a bus home after attending the Splendour in the Grass music festival.

Festival goers vent anger.

Rockhampton cook through to MasterChef semi-final

FAMILY:MasterChef semi-finalist Harry Foster pictured with his mum Ria McClelland.

Harry Foster through to MasterChef semi-finals.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started