Australia coach Michael Cheika welcomes return of Kane Douglas

Former Leinster lock eligible for World Cup after joining Queensland Reds

Kane Douglas in action for Leinster against Munster last season. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Kane Douglas in action for Leinster against Munster last season. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Lock Kane Douglas became eligible to play for Australia at the World Cup yesterday when he signed a three-year deal to join the Queensland Reds.

The 26-year-old was released from his contract with Leinster earlier this month but needed to sign up for one of Australia’s five Super Rugby sides to satisfy the Australian Rugby Union’s eligibility criteria.

The 6ft 6in, 120-kg forward always favoured a move to his fiancee’s home town of Brisbane, near where his father and rugby league-playing brother Luke live.

Douglas was a key member of the New South Wales Waratahs team that won the Super Rugby title last year under Michael Cheika, who has since taken over as Wallabies coach.

Fragile scrum

Rugby Championship

“I don’t think he’s picked up his bags from the airport yet has he?” Cheika said of Douglas, who is on the comeback trail after back surgery.

“It’s great to see Kane back playing his rugby in Australia for the long term,” he added. “His return will bolster our tight five stocks and that is a strong objective of ours.”

Douglas, who won 14 caps for his country before heading to Ireland, missed the latter part of his only season at Leinster because of a back injury.

“It’s a really exciting time here for the game and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” Douglas said.“It’s great to see the Wallabies build some depth across the park over the past 12 months, especially at lock, and I’ll be working hard to fight my way back into contention.”

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