Wallabies face fullback headache

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 08:28
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Although the Wallabies' injury woes have improved slightly, there is still a question mark over who will play at fullback against Argentina this weekend.

Although the Wallabies' injury woes have improved slightly, there is still a question mark over who will play at fullback against Argentina this weekend.

Coach Robbie Deans' team touched down in Rosario on Monday ahead of their final match of the Rugby Championship against the Pumas without star backs Adam Ashley-Cooper and Berrick Barnes who were injured in their loss to the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld.

Barnes suffered a punctured lung and Ashley-Cooper was stretchered from the field with concussion so both players remained behind in South Africa, and their absence has created something of a selection dilemma for Deans.

With the loss of both utility backs the Wallabies coach has been left seriously thin on fullback options and may use either Mike Harris, Pat McCabe or Dom Shipperley - none of whom have any meaningful experience in the position - whilst Ashley-Cooper's spot at outside centre is set to be filled by either Anthony Fainga'a or Ben Tapuai.

The Wallabies received something of a boost with the news that five previously doubtful players will be available for selection.

Wing Digby Ioane (kneecap), hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau (shoulder) and loose forward Radike Samo (shoulder) were all injured in Pretoria but should be able to start against Argentina whilst lock Sitaleki Timani and loose forward Scott Higginbotham, who missed the Springbok Test, are back in contention.

Reds fullback Luke Morahan and Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville have been called up to join the squad, but they are not expected to be named in the starting line-up.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5
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