Bledisloe blow: Tupou ruled out of Sydney series opener

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

UPDATE: Taniela Tupou has been ruled out of the Bledisloe opener with a hamstring injury.

Tupou suffered the injury at Friday's captain's run less than 36 hours before kick-off in the series opener, according to a News Corp report on Saturday morning.

The prop confirmed he would be missing the match via his public Facebook page on Saturday afternoon.

The 22-year-old's absence would be a major blow for the Wallabies, with Tupou a force for Australia against Ireland in June.

The Wallabies rely heavily on his impact off the bench and Saturday's match would have been his first chance to go head-to-head with the All Blacks pack.

It is unclear how serious the injury may be, but the Wallabies will be hoping the damaging prop is cleared for the second Test in Auckland next week.

Rebels tighthead Jermaine Ainsley was kitted up as 24th man on Friday and is likely to step into the 23 as Tupou's replacement.

Tupou's injury is the second major front row absence for the Australian side after regular loosehead Scott Sio was ruled out with a shoulder injury.