Wallabies suffer big blow ahead of Bok clash

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 06:19
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Australia suffered a big blow on the injury front ahead of their Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks in Perth on Saturday.

Wing Dane Haylett-Petty is set to undergo biceps surgery and will be out of action for up to three months.

The 28-year-old struggled with the injury in recent weeks but still played in the Wallabies 29-35 loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin two weeks ago.

The time frame on Haylett-Petty's injury means he will also miss the Wallabies end-of-year tour in November.

Haylett-Petty has battled injuries this season, coming into the June Series after a hamstring injury curtailed the first part of his Super Rugby season.

Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to his starting XV ahead of Saturday's clash with South Africa at Perth's nib Stadium.

Tatafu Polota-Nau will wear the No.2 jersey with Sekope Kepu to start alongside him in the scrum as Allan Alaalatoa shifts to the reserves.

Adam Coleman returns to the starting side following his late withdrawal prior to the second Bledisloe Cup.

Reece Hodge replaces the injured Haylett-Petty.

Saturday is set to cap a rapid rise for hooker Jordan Uelese, with the 20-year-old in line to become Wallaby 912 after he was named to debut off the bench.

Uelese is set to be the ninth Wallabies debutant of 2017, after rocketing into Wallabies contention following his performances for the Australia Under-20s at this year's World U20 Championships in Georgia.

Flank Jack Dempsey is on the bench and in line for just his second Wallabies cap after his debut against Italy in June, while Samu Kerevi returns to the matchday 23 in the No.22 jersey.

At present, three players have been released for Round Two of the National Rugby Championship with Izaia Perese (Queensland Country), Kane Douglas and Adam Korczyk (Brisbane City) to play this weekend.

Saturday clash is vital for Michael Cheika's side with the Wallabies currently third on the Rugby Championship table after collecting just one bonus point from the opening two rounds.

South Africa currently top the standings following two convincing wins against Argentina, although history is in Australia's favour with the Wallabies having won their last three at home against the Springboks.

The two sides last met in Perth in 2014 as Australia snuck home for a memorable 24-23 win, thanks to a last-gasp try from Rob Horne.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.     
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona.

Date: Saturday, September 9
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 18.00 (10.00 GMT; 12.00 SA Time)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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