Wallabies in scrum quandary
INJURY UPDATE: The Wallabies are likely to be without star tighthead Taniela Tupou when they face England next week.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Wallabies are losing a race against time for the powerful front row forward to make the first Test against England this coming Saturday.
It’s a major blow for Dave Rennie’s Wallabies and an equally a welcome boost for Eddie Jones’ England.
Rennie’s woes in the position don’t end there, with back-up tighthead Harry Johnson-Holmes also downed with an Achilles tendon issue.
As a result, they’ve been forced to call up the relatively inexperienced Sam Talakai from the Rebels.
According to SMH’s Georgina Robinson, they may be forced to push veteran loosehead James Slipper across to fill the void.
The absence of ‘Tongan Thor’ is a huge problem for this Wallabies side. As well as being a destructive scrummager, the dynamic prop is also one of Australia’s primary sources of go-forward ball.
England had themselves lost the services of first-choice tighthead Kyle Sinckler, who didn’t make the plane south due to an ongoing injury. Jones will be relying on Will Stuart, Patrick Schickerling and Joe Heyes in the crucial position.
England will play Tests in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney on successive Saturdays, beginning next weekend.
Following defeat to their great rivals during the pool stage of a wretched home World Cup campaign in 2015, England has been victorious in the last eight clashes with the Wallabies.
That winning streak was sparked by a 3-0 series success on their 2016 tour of Australia soon after Jones’ appointment.
Wallaby squad:– Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Nick Frost, Jake Gordon, Michael Hooper (c), Jed Holloway, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rob Leota, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Tate McDermott, Cadeyrn Neville, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, David Porecki, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Suliasi Vunivalu, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright.
Sources: SMH, AAP & RugbyPass