Australia's Jack Maddocks (left) comforts David Pocock (on the ground) during the second Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park. Photo: Peter Meecham/EPA

BRISBANE – The Wallabies were dealt a big blow Friday ahead of their weekend clash against the Springboks with influential flanker David Pocock ruled out with a neck injury.

All Blacks players were accused of targeting Pocock with illegal neck rolls and twists during their big Rugby Championship win in Auckland two weeks ago.

He has not fully recovered despite being named Thursday in Australia's team to face South Africa in Brisbane.

Wallabies management said Pete Samu will replace him in the run-on side on Saturday, joining captain Michael Hooper and Lukhan Tui in the back row for his maiden Test start.

Ardie Savea of New Zealand is tackled by David Pocock of Australia during the second Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park. Photo: Peter Meecham/EPA
Ardie Savea of New Zealand is tackled by David Pocock of Australia during the second Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park. Photo: Peter Meecham/EPA

The revised Australia team is (15-1): 

Israel Folau; Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua; Marika Koroibete, Kurtley Beale; Will Genia, Pete Samu, Michael Hooper; Lukhan Tui, Adam Coleman; Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio.

Replacements: Folau Faingaa, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Ned Hanigan, Joe Powell, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)