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Force lose Rodda as injury crisis deepens resulting in call to former fringe Crusaders prop

By AAP
Izack Rodda of the Force during the round two Super Rugby Pacific match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force at AAMI Park on February 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Western Force coach Simon Cron says Izack Rodda’s untimely quad injury is hard on the team, and he’ll take a careful approach with the star Wallabies lock.

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Rodda was initially named for last week’s clash with the Hurricanes, but he was forced to withdraw after injuring himself at training just two days before the game.

The 27-year-old, who has been sidelined for most of the past 18 months due to stress fractures in his right foot, won’t be available for Friday night’s clash in Melbourne or next week’s encounter with the ACT Brumbies.

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Rodda is also unlikely to return for the home matches against Moana Pasifika (March 15) or the Queensland Reds (March 23).

“It’s hard on him, and hard on the team,” Cron said.

“They’re talking about that time (of three to four weeks). You’ve just got to take it one week at a time with Izack, and make sure he’s getting better each week.”

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
30
26
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
60%

Rodda’s injury adds to a growing casualty ward.

Prop Marley Pearce broke his nose last week while attempting a tackle that also resulted in him copping a four-match suspension.

Fellow Force props Siosifa Amone (thumb, 5-7 weeks), Harry Hoopert (knee, 3-4 months) and Angus Wagner (knee, first half of the season) are also missing.

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Lock Felix Kalapu (hamstring, first half of the season) and playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa (elbow, 9-11 weeks) are also among the walking wounded.

The situation in the front row is so bad, Cron has been forced to sign former fringe Crusaders and Chiefs prop Ryan Coxon on an injury-replacement contract.

Coxon has been rushed straight into the starting side as a replacement for Pearce.

“We’ve got three (props) down at the moment,” Cron said.

“You’ve always got to be smart as coaches when you’re tracking (options) No.4 and No.5.

“With Ryan coming in, we knew about him, we were watching him, we just didn’t think we’d have to put him in this quickly.

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“We looked around everywhere and he’s probably the most suited to getting in at Super Rugby right now.”

Cron said former All Blacks prop Atu Moli was getting close to playing.

“Atu’s training really well. He’s doing great stuff at tighthead for us,” Cron said.

“It’s just (about) continuing his running loads.

“We think at the moment though he’s really close to being at his best, and we want to make sure he gets there before we play him.”

New captain Jeremy Williams, who missed the 44-14 loss to the Hurricanes due to concussion, returns against the Rebels.

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