SYDNEY (Reuters) – The New South Wales Waratahs have been forced to reshuffle their backline for Friday’s Super Rugby clash with the ACT Brumbies after Karmichael Hunt suffered a hamstring injury in training.
The former rugby league international has been in impressive form at inside centre over the first three matches of the season but will now miss the crunch clash in Canberra.
Kurtley Beale will move up into the midfield alongside Adam Ashley-Cooper, allowing Israel Folau to return to fullback with Curtis Rona, who had been rested, coming onto the wing.
Folau is one try short of former All Black Doug Howlett’s career Super Rugby record of 59 but has never scored a five-pointer in the competition when starting on the wing, a record he maintained against the Queensland Reds last week.
The Waratahs (2-1) and Brumbies (1-3) would usually be expected to set the pace in the Australian conference but this year are trailing the Melbourne Rebels (3-0), who travel to Johannesburg to face the Lions this weekend.
The Brumbies will be without inspirational openside flanker David Pocock for the clash after he suffered a calf injury, while Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa has been ruled out of the match by a wrist injury.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ian Ransom)