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Polota-Nau 'learning to walk again'

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Sportal.co.nz     16 Nov 2013     Getty Images

The destructive rake broke his arm in May playing for the Waratahs and missed the British and Irish Lions series.

A persistent hamstring injury then intervened and delayed the 28-year-old's return until this weekend's clash at Lansdowne Road where he will start from the bench, as he looks to add to his 44 Test caps.

"It's quite nerve wracking actually, it's like learning how to walk again really," Polota-Nau said of his pending return.

"I've obviously been unfortunate with a bad injury run but it's great that (coach) Ewen (McKenzie) shown the faith and giving me the opportunity to represent the country, and there's nothing I love more than representing the country."

McKenzie said of Polota-Nau's return: "It will also be exciting to see Tatafu back. He's in very good physical shape and has worked hard since joining us for the Spring Tour to pick-up the knowledge and detail of how we want to play the game."

The Wallabies also welcome blindside flanker Scott Fardy back from concussion suffered against England while Sekope Kepu will start at tighthead prop for Ben Alexander who is being rested.

"The breakdown is always a key area to any game, but Ireland has been especially vocal this week on the importance they are placing on attacking us there," McKenzie said.

"It will be important for us to be extremely accurate at the breakdown but overall we've gone with a forward pack that is quite capable of dominating in that area, especially with one of our best operators in Scott Fardy coming back from injury.

"We'll be looking forward to the challenge and also to the opportunity of building some momentum by winning back-to-back games for the first time this year."

McKenzie has named an unchanged backline and flyhalf Quade Cooper admitted he is excited by the progress of the backs after scoring seven tries against Italy last weekend.

"I think we're gelling quite nicely," Cooper said.

"The bounce of the ball's going our way and the line breaks that we are making we're starting to finish which is great.

"We've got some freak players right across the board, Izzy (Israel Folau), Tevita (Kuridrani), we've got some big backs which in the past years we haven't really had.

"It's nice to have big, skillful guys out there with you."