Discarded Wallabies lock Nathan Sharpe has answered an SOS from coach Robbie Deans and will fly to South Africa this week to replace injured compatriot Dan Vickerman ahead of the return Tri-Nations Test against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Rugby 365 reports that Vickerman, who injured his shoulder in the 27-15 win over the Boks in Durban at the weekend, is one of several injury concerns for the Aussie coach.
Centre Berrick Barnes has also been ruled out of Saturday’s return Test with a shoulder injury. No replacement has been called up for him, but it remains a possibility.
Vickerman and Barnes will be assessed when the Wallabies return to Australia next week, ahead of their Tri-Nations decider against the All Blacks in Brisbane on 13 September.
Australia are one point behind New Zealand with two games remaining – against the Boks on Saturday and then against the All Blacks a fortnight later in the last match of the Tri-Nations tournament.
The one dark cloud for the Wallabies after the impressive win in Durban was the injury toll.
Apart from the shoulder injuries of Barnes and Vickerman, lock James Horwill also left the field after a heavy head clash late in the game.
Added to that Dean Mumm, who replaced the injured Vickerman during the game, only came on to the bench on the morning of the game after the originally listed replacement, Hugh McMeniman, was ruled out with a virus overnight.
To add to the unavailability issues flank Rocky Elsom, who himself had only just returned from injury, will face the judiciary on Monday after being cited for pulling Victor Matfield down in the line-out.Tweet