MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s hopes of claiming a first win in the Rugby Championship have suffered a blow, with loose forward David Pocock ruled out of Saturday’s test against South Africa after failing to recover from a neck injury.
Pocock, who sustained the injury in the Wallabies’ defeat to the All Blacks in Auckland two weeks ago, had been replaced in the starting side by Pete Samu, who will earn his first test start at Lang Park, Rugby Australia said on Friday.
The Wallabies currently sit bottom of the tournament standings after successive defeats to champions New Zealand.
Updated team: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Dane Haylett-Petty, 13-Reece Hodge, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Kurtley Beale, 9-Will Genia, 8-Pete Samu, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Lukhan Tui, 5-Adam Coleman, 4-Rory Arnold, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1-Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16-Folau Faingaa, 17-Tom Robertson, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Izack Rodda, 20-Ned Hanigan, 21-Joe Powell, 22-Bernard Foley, 23-Jack Maddocks.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)