'Huge blow' for Wallabies as Coleman ruled out

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 06:59
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INJURY UPDATE: The Wallabies hopes of closing the gap on the world champion All Blacks suffered "a huge blow" on the eve of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash in Dunedin with senior lock Adam Coleman ruled out.

Throughout the week the Australians have claimed they were not as bad as they appeared when thrashed 34-54 by New Zealand in Sydney last week and would prove in Saturday's rematch they can be competitive.

But the recurrence of a shoulder injury to Coleman on Friday cost the Wallabies their pack enforcer and line-out caller.

"It's a huge blow," captain Michael Hooper said. "We literally just found out this morning [Friday]. We know he was pushing to the last minute to get it right, even did the line-outs that we did this morning, but just couldn't there."

Coach Michael Chieka was forced to recall Rory Arnold who was dropped to the bench after last week's performance, add 21-year-old novice Izack Rodda to the bench and ponder who would set the physical tone in Coleman's absence. 

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said earlier in the week he expected the Wallabies to be much more physical in response to their hiding in Australia and Cheika responded by saying he would be asking the whole team to step up. 

"Whether there's physicality of the game and all of the contact part of the game, it should come down to every member of the team," he said. 

"Yes, Adam likes to be involved in that, but we'll see who's prepared to step up and maybe take the lead there now. But he'll need everyone following him in." 

Despite the Wallabies scoring four late tries and dominating the final quarter of the first Test, Cheika accepts that his Wallabies have been written off ahead of the rematch. "No one does [rate us] to be honest," he said. 

"It's up to us to write our own chapters if you want to change that attitude around... We do lots of good stuff away from the field but what counts is on the field for everybody.

"We're playing for Australia so I don't think we should be driven by what happened the week before. We can't dwell on the past too much because that's not where we're living. We're living in the now and tomorrow's going to be a huge game for us."

The Wallabies also confirmed Lopeti Timani will take his place on the bench after earlier being bracketed with Jack Dempsey.

Australia - revised: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Curtis Rona.

Date: Saturday, August 26
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 Australian Eastern Time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Agence France-Presse

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