FILE - Australia prop James Slipper. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
FILE - Australia prop James Slipper. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Injuries see Wallabies move Slipper to tighthead for England

By AFP Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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London – Australia prop James Slipper has been moved across to the tighthead side of the scrum for Saturday's match against England at Twickenham after fellow front-rows Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa were both ruled out with concussion.

Tupou was always unlikely to feature following a clash of heads during last week's 15-13 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield, a defeat that ended Australia's five-match winning streak.

But the Wallabies had hopes Alaalatoa, who passed a head injury assessment and finish the Scotland match, would be available.

Now, however, the uncapped Ollie Hoskins, who plays his club rugby in England for London Irish, could make his Test debut off the bench.

"We've had a bit of a setback around tight-head, but we know Slips will bear up," said Australia coach Dave Rennie after naming his side on Thursday.

"We played Sunday and they needed to be right (on) Monday. We planned if we lost one or both of them we needed a bit of cover, and so we bought Ollie in on Monday."

Meanwhile, Jordan Petaia's tour-ending hamstring injury has seen Rennie name Kurtley Beale at full-back, with Andrew Kellaway shifting back to the wing.

Beale's bench appearance against Scotland was his first in Test rugby since the 2019 World Cup.

England will be bidding for their eighth win in a row over Australia, having thumped the Wallabies 40-16 in the World Cup quarter-finals two years ago in Japan when the teams last met -- a defeat that set the seal on Michael Cheika's time in charge.

"We don't look at history," Rennie said, with the New Zealander adding: "What's happened in previous years is irrelevant really."

Australia (15-1)

Kurtley Beale; Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright; James O'Connor, Nic White; Rob Valentini, Michael Hooper (capt), Rob Leota; Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold; James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Angus Bell

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson, Oliver Hoskins, Will Skelton, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Izaia Perese

Coach: Dave Rennie (NZL)


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