Scans have cleared Melbourne Rebels playmaker Matt Toomua of a neck injury after his side’s costly 19-3 loss to Queensland Reds.
The Wallabies regular left the field for a HIA in the second half, coach Dave Wessels fearing a trip to hospital would reveal a serious neck injury as the side dropped back to fourth ahead of a bye.
But Toomua was cleared and travelled with the side back to Sydney, the inside centre unlikely to miss a game given the Rebels have a next-round bye.
Though not yet confirmed, Wallabies Tests against New Zealand are pencilled in for October this year.
Breakout Queensland Reds centre Hunter Paisami will lose valuable audition time after another knee injury in the win, while five-eighth James O’Connor finished the game with a sore sternum as he mounts a case for the Wallabies’ No.10.
The hard-running Paisami used the competition’s shutdown to recover from an MCL tear, with Thorn fearing he had repeated the injury on Saturday night.
Teenager Josh Flook replaced Paisami in the centres, while frontrowers Jethro Felemi and Sean Farrell debuted for Queensland and Jack Straker became the fifth man to wear the Reds’ No.1 this year.
“We’ll have to wait on (scans for Hunter), but Flooky gets a chance and the kid just fronts up,” Thorn said.
“Jack Straker in the No.1 – a famous jersey for Queensland – he goes out there, the fifth (string) loosehead going to work and loving it.
“No excuses, just get the job done.”
The Reds made 204 tackles to the Rebels’ 66, keeping them try-less despite a mountain of possession and territory in the second half.
A win would have put the Melbourne outfit top of the Super Rugby AU ladder.
Instead they are now fourth and will likely need to beat both of the NSW Waratahs and the Western Force to qualify for the top-three finals series.
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