McCabe and Simmons join list of unavailable Wallabies

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James Mortimer     15 Nov 2012     Getty Images

McCabe, one of the few first choice Wallabies backs still standing, complained of stiffness in his neck after the heavy loss in the French capital, and in recent days the injury has worsened, leading the team’s doctors to prescribe McCabe with at least one week’s rest – although coach Robbie Deans did admit to the Sydney Morning Herald that this was a best case scenario.

McCabe joins a list of unavailable Wallabies that is between 22-28 players, pending on which reports you read, but one cannot deny how important the likes of David Pocock and Will Genia are to the Australian team's fortunes.

His unavailability will result in a further re-working of the backline, with Mike Harris, Adam Ashley-Cooper or Berrick Barnes options to replace the hard hitting centre.

However this would result in further ‘non-specialists’ in the Wallaby back division, something that former greats say is hurting the current team.

Further bad news was the banning of Simmons for a lifting tackle on France flanker Yannick Nyanga, the one area where the International Rugby Board stressed there would be zero tolerance on all matters that came before them.

All November Tests ultimately, as a IRB sanctioned window, fall under their governing bodies authority, not the individual unions.

The Australian Rugby Union has not at this stage confirmed whether or not they will appeal the decision.

"We're disappointed in the decision but I haven't had the opportunity to read the decision yet and obviously we'll do that before we settle on that's the end of the matter or not," Deans said.

Simmons ban, and the knee injury to lock Kane Douglas, could result in a lifeline for Scott Higginbotham, who was given a two-week suspension after an incident with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

"We've maintained contact with Scotty, he continues to train and from the outset was hopeful that it wouldn't be the end of his tour prospects," Deans said.

"He's obviously a bloke who would have been here if he hadn't had that setback so he's high on our list."