Pocock ruled out for Wallabies
August 20, 2012 12:30:56 UK
Australia captain David Pocock will miss Saturday's Bledisloe Cup rematch in Auckland after suffering a knee injury in the Wallabies' defeat in Sydney on Saturday.
David Pocock will miss the Bledisloe Cup rematch with a knee injury.
Pocock damaged his right knee in the first half of New Zealand's 27-19 victory at ANZ Stadium. He was able to play for the rest of the game, but scans and a consultation on Monday showed he needs an operation.
Pocock is likely to be replaced by three-test rookie Michael Hooper while Will Genia takes over as captain. There is also speculation Quade Cooper will be recalled to the 22-man squad.
Meanwhile, back-row forward Ben McCalman - who was training with the Australian squad - underwent surgery on his forearm on Saturday night. McCalman was on the recovery trail from a shoulder injury, and he is expected to miss another three months of action with his latest injury.
Australia will come under pressure to axe full-back Kurtley Beale after his error-strewn performance in the Rugby Championship opener.
One option under consideration is to recall Cooper at five-eighth, move Berrick Barnes from No.10 to inside-centre, bring reserve Drew Mitchell on to the wing, and transfer Adam Ashley-Cooper to full-back.
Beale may instead play off the bench. The call for Cooper to return to the team will also be strong, especially as he would provide more midfield kicking options. The Wallabies need to reignite a stagnant attack that has scored only six tries in five Tests this season.
Australia's try on Saturday night came from a forward charge by veteran second-rower Nathan Sharpe.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, asked the reason for Beale's form collapse, said: "There was nothing obvious. It will be one [game] he will be pretty keen to forget."
Teammate Digby Ioane said after the game Beale was "a bit sad".
"But he'll learn off those mistakes, because he's the man," Ioane added.
Australia are 21.00 to win the Rugby Championship. The Wallabies are priced at 10.00 to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
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