Resilient Rugby Warrior: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto Poised for Wallabies Comeback Despite Injury Setback

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, the versatile Melbourne Rebels lock, is determined to overcome his recent foot injury and stake his claim for a spot in the Wallabies squad under new coach Joe Schmidt. Despite the uncertainty regarding his future, the 27-year-old is focused on regaining full fitness and making an impact for Australia in their upcoming July fixtures against Wales and Georgia.

BBC Rugby Union: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto Primed for Wallabies Comeback Despite Injury Setback

Melbourne Rebels lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto is confident he will be fit and ready to answer the call from new Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt, despite missing the back half of the Super Rugby Pacific season due to a foot fracture.

The 27-year-old, who was a regular standout performer for the Rebels, had a pin inserted in his foot after the injury in mid-April and was aiming to make his return this weekend if his side had progressed to the semi-finals. However, their elimination by the Hurricanes last Saturday has not dampened Salakaia-Loto’s determination to be available for Australia’s upcoming July fixtures against Wales and Georgia.

“I haven’t heard from him (Joe), but my thing is just to get back healthy and playing, as I haven’t played in eight or nine weeks,” Salakaia-Loto told AAP. “Hopefully I can get some minutes into the legs, whether that be club rugby or whatever, I’m sure I will find a way to get some footy.”

Salakaia-Loto, who has 30 Wallabies caps, believes his absence was a key factor in the Rebels’ dip in form, with his work-rate and influential presence around the field proving crucial to their attacking momentum. Before joining the now-defunct Rebels, the versatile forward spent last year with English club Northampton, an experience he believes helped him evolve both as a player and a person after nine seasons with the Queensland Reds.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, with the Rebels contract now expired, Salakaia-Loto is focused on regaining full fitness and securing a spot in Schmidt’s first Wallabies squad. The new national coach is set to name his initial training group after the Super Rugby Pacific semi-finals, with the Brumbies potentially the last team eliminated.

The Wallabies will assemble in Brisbane from June 24, with the first Test against Wales scheduled for July 6 at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, followed by a one-off match against Georgia.

đź”— Source