Australia

Toomua blow for battered Wallabies

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 12:59
Matt-toomua-gestures Peter-betham-waratahs Matt-toomua-aus-v-nz
It's extremely disappointing to lose him at this point
Quote-end

Wallabies centre Matt Toomua will miss the remaining matches of Australia's year-end tour due to a hamstring injury.

This is a further blow to the tourists - who earlier this week suspended six players and put another nine on notice over a late-night booze binge in Dublin last week.

The loss on Toomua also comes a day after fellow centre Tevita Kuridrani received a five-week suspension for a dangerous spear-tackle in last Saturday's Test against Ireland in Dublin.

The Australian Rugby Union will wait to receive a written judgement before considering their options.

To further complicate matters Waratahs wing Peter Betham will only join the squad later this week, ahead of their Test against Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Scans revealed Toomua had suffered a low-grade hamstring strain following training, meaning he will now be unavailable for upcoming matches against Scotland at Murrayfield and Wales at Millennium Stadium.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said it was a disappointing blow for the talented 23-year-old playmaker, who had been a standout in his debut Test season, earning 10 caps and more recently cemented his role in the No.12 jersey during the opening three games of the year-end tour.

With Toomua unavailable, Betham, who earned his Wallabies debut in the third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in October, will provide valuable backline cover for the squad.

"Matt has had a fantastic season and has done a terrific job for the Wallabies in a new position," McKenzie said.

"It's extremely disappointing to lose him at this point and not have him available for our final two games.

"However, he's shown all the positive attributes we want in our players and are looking forward to seeing him use his international experience to continue his development during the Super Rugby competition next year."

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