Radike Samo.
Radike Samo. Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Samo in-line for wing spot

THE versatility of Wallabies back-rower Radike Samo will again be put to the test against Russia in Nelson on Saturday as he is in line to play on the right wing to help cover the team's glaring lack of back-line players.

As the Wallabies are short of midfielders - with Rob Horne, Pat McCabe and Kurtley Beale unavailable and Anthony Faingaa in serious doubt - the Test selectors may be forced to field forwards in the back line to cover spots until injuries are overcome.

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After a three-day break, the Wallabies returned to the training paddock yesterday, with Samo spending considerable time on the right wing during the drills. This would come as a surprise to those who know him only as a large, bustling back-rower, but Samo has good understanding of what is required on the wing, having played there in his early days including when he went to Canberra in 1999.

Samo was also on the wing in the final minutes of the Wallabies' 67-5 victory over the US in Wellington last Friday night after Australia ran out of backs, and forwards had to fill unexpected spots. Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau suddenly appeared as a blindside flanker.

The Wallabies coach, Robbie Deans, will have 24 fit players to choose from for the Russia game, and as injury has severely hit the back-line contingent, some selection manipulations will be required.

Read more at brisbanetimes.com.au

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