Injury added to Wallaby insults
While the bloodhounds are closing in on Robbie Deans over his team's dismal form, the under-fire Wallaby coach is fighting fires on a different front.
While the bloodhounds are closing in on Robbie Deans over his team's dismal form, the under-fire Wallaby is fighting fires on a different front.
Injuries have added to the insults already heaped on Deans, following his team's 0-22 whitewash at the hands of the All Blacks in Auckland at the weekend - the first Wallaby shut-out in 50 years.
It was revealed on Monday that backs Quade Cooper and Drew Mitchell have been sent for scans to determine their availability for the September 8 clash with South Africa in Perth.
Mitchell, who injured his troublesome right ankle in Auckland, will undergo an ultrasound on Tuesday. Initial scans on Monday were inconclusive, but he has already been put on the "doubtful" list for Round Three of the Rugby Championship.
The Waratahs wing, who left New Zealand with his right leg in a moonboot, has only just returned to the Wallabies set-up following an 18-month injury battle and could miss all of Australia's remaining matches depending on the severity of his injury.
Mitchell is the latest in a long line of Australian wings to suffer an injury - with Joseph Tomane and Cooper Vuna already ruled out, meaning Western Force flier Nick Cummins could be in line to make his debut in Perth.
Reds flyer Dom Shipperley is another option for Deans if Mitchell is ruled out.
The flyhalf, Cooper, will undergo scans on his reconstructed right knee after aggravating the joint in the Eden Park Test.
The New Zealand-born No.10 remained in Auckland after the Test, returning to Brisbane on Monday.
He will undergo precautionary scans on Tuesday to determine what, if any, damage has been done.
Deans will be hopeful Cooper's results are positive with the Wallabies stocks being tested to the limit after several key injuries.
Among those already ruled out of the Perth Test are David Pocock, James Horwill, James O'Connor, Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCabe and Ben McCalman.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, whose buttock injury ruled him out of last Saturday's Test against the All Blacks, is hopeful of lining up against the Springboks as the Wallabies aim to get their first points in the Rugby Championship.