Injuries reduce Wallabies' back options

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    22 Aug 2016     Getty Images

Instead, it is the Wallabies who have been left reeling by the All Blacks 42-8 mauling which has left the Australian backline in tatters.


Signs are that second five-eighths Matt Giteau is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury and that could also mean the end of his international career. Giteau has played 103 Tests for Australia.

Giteau's replacement on Saturday Matt Toomua suffered a head knock and has been ruled out of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup decider in Wellington while Toomua's replacement Rob Horne suffered a season-ending shoulder injury which may need surgery.

With Kurtley Beale out for the season due to a knee injury and Christian Leali'ifano out of action after being diagnosed with leukaemia the Wallabies will be scouring their resources for replacements.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika told media in Sydney on Sunday, "We'll have a look at the possible options we've got."
These will include playing Israel Folua in the midfield or Samu Kerevi, Reece Hodge and Quade Cooper.

"There's a couple of our playmakers in those three guys. There are other options. We could go for two ball carriers as opposed to two playmakers like we did against England. We'll see how that pans out."

However, with problems all over the field Australia's considerations are not confined to the mid-field, a point Cheika acknowledged.

"I'll have a look at the whole team. Once we have a good review of the match and give opportunities to players who want to stand up and put themselves on the line for Australia in Wellington, because that's what it will take.

"It will be more difficult this week going to Wellington. I'll have a plan in my head about trying to get the team in a better headspace.

"We are going to have a week where there is a lot of negativity around us. It is going to be a chance to stick together as much as possible and build something out of adversity. That's the position we are in. We put ourselves there, now we've got to get ourselves out," he said.