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Sydney – Wallaby prop Sekope Kepu has joined skipper David Pocock on the Australian injury list and will miss Saturday's Bledisloe Cup encounter with the All Blacks in Auckland.
The powerful Kepu sustained a strain to the medial ligament of his right knee in training on Tuesday, an injury that can typically sideline a player for a month, the Australian Rugby Union said.
It is another blow for the Wallabies who are reeling from news that Pocock could be out of action for three months following a knee operation Tuesday.
The captain had keyhole surgery to repair damage to the articular cartilage of his right knee suffered during Australia's 27-19 defeat to New Zealand in the opening Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship match last weekend.
Halfback Will Genia, who captained Australia once before against the United States in last year's World Cup, has been confirmed as the new skipper.
He will be Australia's fourth captain in barely 12 months with first-choice James Horwill ruled out of the four June Tests and the Rugby Championship with a hamstring injury. He took over from Rocky Elsom.
Australia will unveil their side for Saturday's do-or-die Bledisloe Cup clash on Thursday, a fixture they must win to prevent the New Zealanders from holding the title for a 10th consecutive year.
The Wallabies have not won at Eden Park since 1986, and coach Robbie Deans also faces a selection headache over whether to retain Kurtley Beale at fullback or recall mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper.
The Bledisloe Cup is a three-match series this year. – Sapa-AFP