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    I'm ready for 80 minutes: Palu

    2012-04-10 09:22
    Sydney - Wycliff Palu is one of the Waratahs most crucial impact players, but wants to again be known as an 80-minute performer.

    Due to the Test No 8's long run with serious knee, shoulder and hamstring injuries, the Waratahs team management know they have to use Palu wisely, which this season has seen him usually replaced in the second half. However Palu argues that after setbacks his body is at last starting to feel as if it can last a full match - even on a regular basis.

    Nonetheless it remains unlikely to see Palu play the full game against the Force on Friday night, with Lopeti Timani again scheduled to be his back-up.

    There has been some criticism directed at the Waratahs coaching staff for taking Palu off too early, but it has usually been the case of his hamstring tightening up, and the fear that if he continues playing he could risk injury. Palu believes that won't be a concern for much longer.

    ''The body is feeling good, and I'm just trying to play as much as I can,'' Palu said on Monday.

    ''Compared to this time last year, I am miles ahead.''

    Asked if he could be a 80-minute player this year, Palu replied: ''Yeah, yeah definitely. It's just a slow process. This week I'll probably get a bit more time on the field.''

    This is in contrast to last season with Palu admitting that training and playing had become a painful exercise - the most infuriating moment being when he was the first casualty of Australia's World Cup campaign, leaving the tournament early after damaging his hamstring against the United States.

    ''Last year, I'd wake up in the morning, and the body wouldn't be feeling too good,'' Palu said.

    ''I didn't think I'd be able to get right back. But it's a lot better now. Sometimes you did feel like you were beating your head against the wall, but then you would see some results. I'm starting to see that again, and I want to keep on going.''

    Palu, who is contemplating lucrative offers from Japan, is top of the list of players the Waratahs want to re-sign for next season.

    On Monday he offered no clues where he would end up in 2013. Waratahs coach Michael Foley has stated he will do all he can to convince Palu to stay in Sydney.

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