The Qantas Wallabies have made two forced changes to their Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship squad with NSW Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan and Melbourne Rebels winger Tom English to join the team on Monday.
The inclusion of Ryan comes after Rebels prop Laurie Weeks, who joined the squad on Wednesday afternoon, re-aggravated a pre-existing hamstring issue at training on Friday.
ACT Brumbies winger Joe Tomane has a minor hamstring strain in what is a disappointing blow after the talented 24-year-old also missed Australia’s June Test series against France with a cheekbone injury he suffered just weeks before the team assembled for camp.
Both injuries are considered to be relatively minor with the pair to be sidelined for only 2-3 weeks.
Qantas Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said it was important to call upon healthy reinforcements as the side prepares for their opening Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks in Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 16 August.
“It’s disappointing to lose Laurie and Joe at this point, but as has been consistent with our stance on injuries over the past year, we’re going to continue to take a pragmatic approach and give guys with issues the chance to focus solely on their rehab before re-joining the squad,” McKenzie said.
“We don’t expect them to miss more than a couple of weeks, and when they become available for selection once again we’ll know they are healthy and ready to contribute.
“As it is with sport, injuries provide an opportunity for other guys to come through, and I’m sure Paddy and Tom are both excited about taking part in our preparations for the All Blacks.
“It’s no secret we’re trying to build more depth at tighthead prop and the upcoming fortnight will be a good chance for Paddy to continue improving at this level.
“Tom is a guy we are continually learning more about and is someone who impressed us with his attitude and abilities at training during the June series, along with being a consistent performer for the Rebels throughout the year.”
Ryan and English have both had exposure to the national program in 2014 with Ryan earning his third Test cap in Australia’s victory over France in Melbourne in June; while English was also part of the squad during the French series as one of four additional training squad members.
Tickets for the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship, including the opening match against the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday 16 August, are on sale now via Ticketek.
Tickets for the first game against reigning World Cup holders New Zealand range from $44 to $179 (from $200 for families). All tickets for this fixture include public transport