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More bad news for Australia with five players added to injury ward

By AAP
Taniela Tupou. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Wallabies insist their massive injury toll, with top prop Taniela Tupou now in possible danger of missing the Rugby World Cup, comes down to bad luck and the perils of a collision sport.

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Tupou was stretchered off in the second half of their 13-10 loss to Ireland in Dublin with a suspected Achilles tendon injury.

Untouched, the burly prop fell to the ground clutching his leg as he attempted to cart the ball up.

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If the tendon is ruptured Tupou faces a minimum nine-month recovery, putting his chances of playing in next year’s global showpiece in France in jeopardy.

He was one of five Australian casualties from another tight loss, with all set to be ruled out for the spring tour-ending clash with Wales next weekend.

Hunter Paisami suffered medial ligament damage in the opening minutes, leaving Australia without a specialist inside centre for the Cardiff Test.

Outside back Andrew Kellaway (toe) and No.8 Rob Valetini (ankle) were forced off during the second half while hooker Dave Porecki was concussed.

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Halfback Nic White also suffered a head knock but surprisingly passed his HIA to return to the field.

“We’re still assessing things but Bobby Valetini, syndesmosis, so he’s doubtful for next week,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

“Andrew Kellaway will definitely be out with a toe injury, Nela (Tupou) potentially an Achilles so he will be out, Porecki with another concussion so he will have to have a minimum of 12 days so he won’t be able to back up.

“Hunter (Paisami) has done his medial … so definitely those four plus probably Bobby.”

The Wallabies already had a long list of players sidelined with long-term injuries including first-choice playmaker Quade Cooper (Achilles) and star centre Samu Kerevi (knee).

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Fullback Tom Banks, who broke his arm earlier this year, already returned home from the tour with an ankle injury as did Lalakai Foketi with a leg fracture.

But Rennie said it was part of playing a contact sport, plus some bad luck.

“Hunter got his leg caught under him – that’s footy,” the coach said.

“Porecki got a shoulder to the head, that’s bad luck, I’m not even sure how or what Kells (Kellaway) has done.

“It’s a collision sport and they’re collision injuries.”

Rennie said he would have to work through his squad to field a line-up for Wales, with lock Will Skelton and five-eighth Bernard Foley unavailable as the match falls outside the international window.

He said he would call on a number players who took part in their historic loss to Italy.

“We’ll have to go into the depth of the squad again,” Rennie said.

“I can guarantee there will be guys itching for another opportunity after the Italy effort.”

Wallabies’ long-term injuries: Quade Cooper (Achilles), Samu Kerevi (knee), Matt Philip (knee), Angus Bell (toe), Rob Leota (Achilles), Izack Rodda (foot), Izzy Perese (knee), Lachie Swinton (shoulder), Tom Banks (ankle), Lalakai Foketi (leg).

– Melissa Woods

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