Scott Sio (AP)
Teddington - Australia prop Scott Sio says
he is fully fit to face arch-rivals New Zealand in Saturday's Rugby World Cup
final after recovering from a dislocated elbow.
The 24-year-old sustained the injury in the
controversial 35-34 quarter-final win over Scotland and that ruled him out of
the semi-final victory over Argentina.
"There's no risk. You've got to go
into this knowing you are 100 percent ready for this occasion," said Sio
at the team's base in the leafy London suburb of Teddington.
"It's the biggest game rugby has to
offer. You want to be part of it but it's a team sport and you have to make
sure you're not putting the team at risk.
"I didn't feel that and I told them,
'I'm good to go'.
"I feel good, I'm 100 percent
confident in my elbow. Yesterday was going to be the marker and I got through
training really well, through all the scrums, mauls and the lineouts."
"Part of this process is being honest
with yourself and honest with the team. I was honest. I said it felt really
good and if they wanted to pick me for this week, I'd be ready for the
Australia coach Michael Cheika said that he
was not rushing Sio back because his replacement James Slipper was given a
torrid time by his Argentinian opposite number last Sunday.
"Scott Sio has played really well. I'm
not taking a risk you can't hide where he plays," said Cheika.
Sio said he couldn't wait to get out and
play in what he considers the Olympics of rugby.
"It was a hard pill to swallow because
it was a semi-final," he said about missing the 29-15 win over Argentina.
"But to be given that chance again, in
a World Cup final, I'll definitely relish it now. I call the World Cup the
Olympics of rugby. To be there at the pinnacle, at the end, is amazing.
"I was there or thereabouts (to play
in last week's game) but I knew I wouldn't be able to give my all and I
wouldn't want to put the team in that position.
"I made the call early in the week that
I wasn't going to be good to go."
Sio, a Brumbies team-mate of hooker and
captain Stephen Moore, said Cheika had not been upping the hype or the ante
during the week preferring to keep the atmosphere calm.
"'Cheik's' been good keeping it all
low-key, the calm before the storm. We have been in this environment for so
long, it's second nature to us," said Sio.
Sio said his last experience of a World Cup
final was not a happy one as it was the 2003 game in Sydney when England's
Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in the dying seconds of extra-time dashed Aussie
hopes on home soil.
"I was there. I was at the game,"
"It was a special moment for myself.
Obviously, it was very disappointing for myself as a Wallabies fan but it was a
great occasion to be there. Being part of the crowd and atmosphere back then,
it is amazing to be part of it now as a player."