CAPE TOWN – The Wallabies will be without loose forwards Pete Samu and Lukhan Tui for their Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth next Saturday.
Samu has been ruled out for a month with a knee injury, while Tui has taken time off following the death of his stepfather.
Tui was also involved in a scuffle with a Wallaby fan following last weekend’s 23-19 defeat to Argentina in the Gold Coast, with coach Michael Cheika saying afterwards that the Reds blindside flank didn’t want to play rugby anymore due to the incident.
Now Cheika will have to pick a new No 6 to partner the dynamic fetcher duo of captain Michael Hooper and David Pocock.
Rebels star Angus Cottrell is the new face in the squad and could make his debut at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but the Waratahs’ Ned Hanigan is the likely starter against the Boks after playing off the bench previously.
Cheika has also brought in a new scrumhalf into the squad in the shape of Jake Gordon, who takes the place of Joe Powell, while hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa comes in for Tolu Latu.
Cheika is under tremendous pressure following the loss to Argentina, which was the Wallabies’ fifth defeat in six Tests.
The only victory was the 23-18 triumph over the Springboks in Brisbane, and Cheika is hoping for another much-needed win in South Africa before travelling to Salta for the return match against Argentina.
“There’s an opportunity presented to us now to get some good victories overseas, and that’s going to come from consistency in the way that we play,” Cheika said on the Wallabies website on Friday.
“We have got some news additions to the squad, and these guys have shown plenty of grit and determination to get an opportunity at a higher level, so now we’re looking for them to add that to the mix.
“We’re very determined to make sure that we repay the faith and show people what we’re about in the way we play.”
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Angus Cottrell, Folau Fainga’a, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Taniela Tupou.
Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Jake Gordon, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua.@ashfakmohamed