Pocock's replacement revealed
INJURY UPDATE: Australian back row forward David Pocock has been ruled out of Saturday’s international against England, just over a day before the Cook Cup clash at Twickenham.
Pocock was in at No.8 when Wallaby coach Michael Cheika named his side on Thursday even though the loose forward was struggling with a neck injury suffered during last week’s 26-7 win away to Italy.
But a further fitness test on Friday saw Pocock sidelined.
“He just couldn’t get over it,” said Cheika at a Twickenham news conference on Friday.
“He trained a bit yesterday [Thursday] and his neck was really quite sore. He wanted another day, which obviously you’ll afford to a guy like him because he knows his body better than anyone and had prepared better than anyone but he couldn’t overcome it.
“And there’s a bit of me that is relieved that he came to that conclusion, I’ll be honest, because he’d been copping it.”
Pete Samu will replace Pocock at No.8 with wing Marika Koroibete coming on to the bench.
England scrum coach Neal Hatley speaking before Pocock was ruled out told reporters at Twickenham on Friday: “He’s got double the turnovers of any other stealer in tier one this year. A hell of a good player.
“But they’ve got Michael Hooper and other people, [Tatafu] Polota-Nau, who jackal the ball,” he added.
Saturday’s match will be the final Test of 2018 for both England, coached by former Australia boss Eddie Jones, and the Wallabies.
Victory this weekend would mean Jones had won all six of his Test against his native Australia since taking charge of England following the 2015 World Cup debacle – when a defeat by eventual finalists Australia condemned the tournament hosts to a first-round exit.
Australia – revised: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Jack Maddocks, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Will Genia, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Jermaine Ainsley, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Sefa Naivalu, 23 Marika Koroibete.
Date: Saturday, November 24
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT; 02.00 AEDT Sunday, November 25)
Expected weather: Light rain and a gentle breeze. High of 9°C and low of 6°C
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)