In a double blow to the Wallabies, ahead of their two-Test Tri-Nations trip to South African, it has been revealed that two more players have joined Australia’s “doubtful” list.
Rugby 365 reports that Coach Robbie Deans said in an interview on the Wallabies’ official website that lock James Horwill and wing Lote Tuqiri have joined flank Rocky Elsom and fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper in the casualty ward.
Australia play South Africa in back to back Tests in Durban (August 23) and Johannesburg (a week later).
The injuries to Elsom (ligament strain) and Ashley-Cooper (broken hand) have been well publicised, but the revelation that Horwill and Tuqiri are also in doubt will be a huge blow for the tourists.
“Rocky’s still got a boot on for a ligament strain, tear, and he’ll start running again shortly, but the likelihood is he won’t be available to us till the second game in South Africa,” Deans told rugby.com.au.
“And Adam has had an operation on a broken bone in his hand and he’s in a similar predicament. He won’t be available till the second game it appears.”
But then Deans moved on to the other injury worries, Horwill (bruising) and Tuqiri, who may require surgery on his knee.
“There are a number of other blokes,” he explained, adding: “Jimmy Horwill’s had some bruising. He potentially may not be available till the second game. I haven’t caught up with him yet, but I understand he’s very positive so we’ll have to wait and see.
“Lote has had a specialist visit around his knee and he may require an operation at some point. We’ll just have to see how positive he is about his circumstance because essentially it hasn’t changed a lot, I understand.
“He’s had a knee niggle, a knee complaint for awhile now. If he’s positive then he may well carry on and look at getting a clean up done later if it’s impacting on his ability to train and play then we may have to seek an operation earlier.”
Asked if the injuries concerned him the laconic Deans answered: “They’re part of the territory. You’ve just got to roll with them. We’ll have twenty two fit blokes come kick off time and they’ll be well prepared and keen.”
On a positive note however Deans also confirmed his excellent record in South Africa.
Deans took his Crusaders team there on nine tours and did not leave South African shores without a win on any tour. Twice, in 2002 and this year, he won both games in the Republic.
Overall in 19 games in South Africa, Deans has won 11. It’s clear the canny Kiwi is one of the few coaches who knows the secret of winning in South Africa.
And with the Wallabies only needing to win one of their two matches in South Africa to stay in contention for the Tri-Nations, Men of Gold fans still have reasons to be optimistic.Tweet