Australia

Another hooker blow for Wallabies

Mon, 11 Aug 2014 08:50
Saia-faingaa-reds-ball
It's all about challenges
Quote-end
Experienced Reds hooker Saia Faingaa has been called into the Wallabies squad after an injury to Tolu Latu caused more headaches for Ewen McKenzie.
 
Latu was forced out of the squad after breaking an arm in a Sydney club game on the weekend.
 
Latu know sits on the sideline along with two of the country's more senior hookers in Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship game against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday.
 
27-year-old Faingaa may be the third choice hooker at present, but his past experience in the national squad may be to his benefit
 
The Reds man has more caps than the combined tally of the players ahead of him.
 
He has played 29 Tests, though only seven as a starter, while Nathan Charles, who looks set to start, earned his first two caps off the bench in the recent series against France.
 
James Hanson, the other hooker previously named in the squad, made his only Test appearance as a substitute against he All Blacks in 2012.
 
Prop Sekope Kepu was confident Charles and Hanson have what it takes to face up to the formidable New Zealand pack despite their lack of international experience.
 
"It's not like you're pulling guys that haven't played at Super Rugby level and guys like Hanson and Charles played massive amounts of games this year and credit to them they've played really well," he told the Australian Associated Press.
 
"It's their chance to step up to the plate.
 
"I've no doubt they are looking forward to soaking up the occasion and taking the opportunity."
 
Kepu wouldn't be surprised if the All Blacks targeted Charles.
 
"I'm sure they will look at that and as much as they might focus on us, our focus is on ourselves," Kepu said.
 
"It's all about challenges and I'm sure the pack is up for this weekend. We're pretty excited."
 
AAP
RELATED ARTICLES