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Scott Fardy to miss Italy clash

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Hard working Qantas Wallabies flanker Scott Fardy has been ruled out of Australia’s next Spring Tour Test against Italy in Turin this weekend after suffering a concussion in the loss to England at Twickenham.

Fardy took a knock while executing a tackle on English fullback Mike Brown early in the second half.

Following IRB concussion protocols Fardy will be unavailable for selection this Saturday against the Azzurri. (Sunday morning 1am AEDT).

“You've got to do a graduated training week, by the time you get through all that you really haven't done much preparation,” explained Wallabies head coach Ewen McKenzie.

“So we've basically made the decision not to include him in selection for this week.”

McKenzie hoped Fardy would return for next week's big clash against Ireland in Dublin.

The 29-year-old Brumbies lock/backrower only made his Test debut in the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship this year but he has been consistently among the Wallabies best, bringing an aggressive edge to the tight exchanges.

“He's a pretty good campaigner, he's new on the Test scene but he's got a good instinct for the game,” offered McKenzie.

“He's a good talker, which is what you need, he brings good energy to different situations, so it's disappointing.”

With Fardy unavailable McKenzie may opt for the same backrow combination that played against the All Blacks in Dunedin in Bledisloe 3, with Ben Mowen at blindside flanker and Ben McCalman at No.8 alongside openside Michael Hooper, with Tahs captain Dave Dennis on the bench.

In better injury news Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau may be ready for a return from the bench against Italy after training with the side on Monday.

The popular Polota-Nau has spent a frustrating six months out of the game after injuring a hamstring during the Super Rugby season.

“Taf’s” undoubted physical presence has been notably absent from the Wallabies this year, and his impact was sorely missed during the DHL Australia Lions Test series and the Rugby Championship.

Polota-Nau’s absence has seen Brumbies stalwart Stephen Moore start every Test this season, with Reds rake Saia Fainga'a providing back up on the bench. Fainga’a’s Reds team mate James Hanson has also been unavailable through injury.

"He's pretty close, certainly close enough to be thought about, which is where we're at at the moment," said McKenzie of Polota-Nau.

“A lot of it is confidence after being a long while out of the game - having the confidence to get out there, especially with a hamstring, and doing all the things you need to do: scrum, bend over at the rucks and get cleaned out, and stuff like that.

“He's in a much better space. We did a lot of contact last week so he enjoyed that and it gives him confidence. He should be in the mix."

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