The Slipper Accessory Star Is A Versatile Aussie Rock

He’s come back from countless injuries and even rebounded from a drug ban, but after 112 tests James Slipper still looks indestructible – and Aussie rugby could never be more grateful.

In the midst of a chaotic test week ahead of their renowned touring match against England which saw the Wallabies’ frontline stocks hopelessly depleted, it was up to one of world rugby’s great survivors to prove once again. the higher its value.

Asked to switch from his usual stance of free prop to the other side of the fray to face the might of the English pack once again, you get no complaints from 32-year-old Slipper.

Instead, he just brushes off a bruised body and promises with a smile, “I’m a coward, but I feel like I can support myself all the way – and one thing I know is that I’ll do my best. for the country. “

Australia expects no less. Last Sunday’s loss to Scotland was a painful reminder of his past as a tight header when the loss of Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou at the head forced him to show the kind of mid-game versatility that he’s shown so often for the Brumbies.

And with the two specialists out of the race for the game against England, coach Dave Rennie did not hesitate to turn to “Slips”.

“Your lower back is getting pretty sore,” Slipper conceded, reflecting on a bad day at the office on Sunday.

“It’s funny because with a loose head you have a little more pressure in the neck while with a tight head it’s more in the back.

“So I definitely did pretty badly after that.

“I can’t say I’m feeling so good – but I’ll be game time, mate.”

No one knows better than the waist front recovery process, other than maybe the only five props that have won more test caps than Slipper – Gethin Jenkins (Wales & British & Irish Lions, 134), Martin Castrogiovanni (Italy, 119), Jason Leonard (England & Lions, 119), Tony Woodcock (New Zealand, 118) and Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa, 117).

At the other end of the experience scale, Irish London mainstay Ollie Hoskins, the former Western Force striker who hasn’t played in Australia for five years, has been thrown into the deep end for a potential start on the bench.

“It’s pretty wild, hard to express what I’m feeling,” Hoskins told the BBC. “I will enjoy the experience.”

Thinking back to when he joined the English Premiership club, Hoskins recalls: “I was in a tough spot in my career when I joined. I was playing my hometown club as a child and they m ‘had let go and told me I was not good enough.

“The Irishman gave me a chance and I reorganized my life here. I took root, met my wife here, most of my extended family live here now, so it gave me a second chance. “

Slipper was quietly impressed. “Ollie has had a few days to practice and improve his skills with all the moves and the way we want to play the game. He’s fitted in really well, so we’re delighted to give him a chance.”

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