RUGBY: Injured Wallabies second-rower Kane Douglas believes 2016 is far from a lost cause.
The Yamba product is eyeing a return to action after the current three-Test series against England, with two Super Rugby games and the Rugby Championship in his sights.
Douglas, who injured his left ACL in last year's World Cup final against New Zealand, revealed to Australian Regional Media he is on track to make his long-awaited Queensland Reds debut against the Chiefs in Brisbane on July 8.
That would give him two Super Rugby games to impress before Australia's Rugby Championship opener and Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand in Sydney on August 20.
Douglas trained with the Wallabies leading up to last Saturday night's first Test against England, which the visitors won 39-28.
Brumbies lock Rory Arnold came in for Douglas and made a solid debut in a forward pack out-muscled and out-enthused by the Poms.
But Australia would happily call upon Douglas' experience of 23 international caps for Rugby Championship Tests against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina from August through to October.
"Hopefully," Douglas said of a potential return to international rugby against New Zealand on August 20. "I just want to get back on the field and get some match fitness and hopefully show some good form.
"I've spent a fair bit of time in the gym just running straight lines. I'm a bit over that now and I want to get the ball in my hand.
"It's mainly been pad work, but I only need a couple of weeks of that before I can start playing."
Douglas was hyped as a big signing for the Reds after a stint at Leinster in the European Pro12 competition, before injuring his knee in the World Cup final against the All Blacks on November 1.
Finally, Reds fans will soon see him in action.
"I'm hoping for a couple of Super Rugby games," he said. "I know there's only three left, but I'm on target and I've gone through all the processes that I need to.
"I've had a good run (with injuries). I stay positive about those things.
"It's been good having some time off but I'm busting to get back out there."
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