The New South Wales Waratahs have paid a high price for the Wallabies’ win over the Barbarians, losing front-rowers Matt Dunning and Sekope Kepu for possibly the entire 2009 Super 14 rugby season.
Rugbyweek reports that Dunning ruptured an Achilles tendon in the final match of Australia’s European tour and faces six months on the sidelines while Kepu has torn a pectoral muscle and could have a similar period out of the game, reports said Friday. Dunning and Kepu slipped when the soft Wembley surface gave way during the same second-half scrum in the Wednesday clash.
The Waratahs, finalists in this year’s Super 14 to New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders, will also be without Wallaby forwards Dan Vickerman and Rocky Elsom next year as they have left for Europe.
Another Wallaby forward, number eight Wycliff Palu, is awaiting scan results on an injured shoulder and could also be ruled out for months.
New Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said while losing so much quality to injury was a blow, he was confident in his team’s ability to fill the gaps. “It’s always disappointing to see those sort of injuries,
particularly in the last game of the tour,” Hickey said Friday. “The experience we’ve lost you can’t buy unfortunately, but we’ve also got plenty of good young players who we’re confident of their ability to step up.”
The Waratahs open their 2009 Super 14 campaign against the Hurricanes in Wellington on February 14.Tweet