Wallabies injury concerns as key Reds, Rebels players go down in epic final

Super Rugby - AU
by Christy Doran

Dave Rennie will be crossing his fingers that the injury toll out of Saturday's qualifying final wasn't as bad as first feared as he prepares to name his Wallabies for next month's opening Tests of the year against the All Blacks.

In a bruising encounter that showcased some excellent skills and young talent emerging through the ranks like Rebels lock Trevor Hosea, Rennie would have been a concerned observer as player after player was forced from the field in Brisbane as the Queensland Reds prevailed 25-13.

Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese appears to be in he biggest doubt for the Tests, with the 23-year-old leaving the field midway through the second-half with an apparent AC injury.

The Reds lost outside backs Jordan Petaia and Chris Feauai-Sautia late in the first-half.

Initially it was feared that Petaia had left because of a shoulder complaint after coming up gingerly from a Reece Hodge tackle as he attempted to pick the ball up to score his second try.

But soon after it was revealed that Petaia had failed a Head Injury Assessment.

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He was joined shortly after by two-Test Wallaby Feauai-Sautia, whose horror injury run looks to have continued.

The 26-year-old was clutching his groin on the sidelines and is in serious doubt for next Saturday's Super Rugby AU final against the Brumbies in Canberra.

It wasn't until the second half that the Rebels started to get hit hard.

Wallabies fullback and Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty appeared to have done his knee again, but he later told Fox Sports that he had tweaked his groin too.

His Test and club teammate, playmaker Matt To'omua, then also joined the walking wounded after he too tweaked his groin when making a clearing kick.

To'omua attempted to play on, but was eventually forced from the field.

Rennie is expected to name an enlarged group of around 46 players on Sunday, with all four nations in The Rugby Championship having to compensate for "bubbles" given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The injury to Uelese will stretch the Wallabies' resources at hooker, which were already razor thin.

Given that Rugby Australia last week amended their eligiblity laws for 2020 only to allow the Wallabies to pick two foreign-based players who don't already qualify under the 60-cap, seven-year rule it's likely that Tolu Latu will be called up.

Whether Latu is included on Sunday's list remains to be seen however, with Rugby Australia having to gain board approval before being able to call up their two foreign-based players.


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