Wallabies duo set to miss third Bledisloe Test

Fri, 27/08/2021, 07:16 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie spoke to media from Perth.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Hunter Paisami will miss the third Bledisloe as they leave camp for the birth of their kids.

The baby boom across trans-Tasman rugby has caused mass changes within the two squads, with the All Blacks travelling to Perth without Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith and Sam Whitelock.

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Rennie conceded the postponement by a week will see the pair miss out on the final Test of the series.

“Yeah probably. Their partners were due the 1st (of September) and beyond so they both came here originally and have since left,” he told reporters.

Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa is set to depart during the Rugby Championship, however, is expected to be available for the next two games at least.

After a disappointing second Test performance, Rennie hinted at further changes, looking for an 80-minute performance.

“We’ve always said we’re going to pick on performance. There were a big chunk of guys who performed well especially in the first 40 minutes,” he said.

“We’ll pick guys who have earned the right to be picked for this squad so there’s likely going to be a couple of changes.”

Meanwhile, Force hooker Feleti Kaitu’u will return to the squad after suffering a calf injury.

This will see Rebel Jordan Uelese return to Melbourne, with the 23-year-old coming off the bench during their opening two defeats.

“Feleti was originally part of the squad, got injured very early on unfortunately and it’s beenlong road to recovery,” Rennie revealed.

“When we were in Brisbane, we sent him back here (to Perth) in the hope he might be available for the All Black Test to be played here. We brought Jordy in as a replacement but now he is right, Jordy’s exited.

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Rennie also confirmed flyhalf James O’Connor will re-join the squad once they travel to Queensland, where they will play the final four matches of the Championship.

O’Connor has not featured for the Wallabies in 2021 due to an ongoing groin injury and is pushing for selection in time for their clash against South Africa on September 12.

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