Cape Town - Giant Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou is optimistic that he can face the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday.
The 22-year-old tighthead missed both of Australia’s Tests against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury.
The Wallabies scrum was on the back foot against the All Blacks and the 135kg Tupou’s presence will be welcomed against the Springboks.
“I was close to playing (at Eden Park),” Tupou said, as quoted by the Daily Telegraph website. “But they were saying it was still bad enough to make it worse. If Cheik (Michael Cheika, Wallabies coach) wants me to start, I will take that with both hands.”
If he is passed fit, Cheika must consider is whether to start Tupou after Sekope Kepu and Allan Alaalatoa failed to seize the No 3 jersey against the All Blacks.
The other contenders for the Wallabies No 3 jersey are Sekope Kepu and Allan Alaalatoa, who failed to seize the No 3 jersey against the All Blacks.
Tupou has only four Tests behind his name but was Australia's standout prop in Super Rugby this year.
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Fainga'a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou
Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua