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Wallabies forced into change

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Wallabies forced into late change to XV for England Test

The Wallabies have been forced into a reshuffle for their final November Test with David Pocock now ruled out of the clash with England.

Pocock damaged his neck in the victory over Italy last weekend, raising doubts over whether he would play in the final match of the tour.

England head coach Eddie Jones accused the Wallabies of mind games after hearing that the flanker may not feature in the Cook Cup showdown.

Pocock was initially selected by head coach Michael Cheika, who was asked on Thursday whether the backrow was 100 per cent – “Well I wouldn’t say fully, no, I’d rather be fair and square about that, otherwise he would’ve been training [on Thursday], wouldn’t he?

“He’s hurting but he’s desperate to play.”

“He’s had them at him all year. He puts his head into places people go to and he’s copped a fair few whacks in there this year. So, he’s certainly not scared to keep putting his head there.”

“Hopefully it’ll get looked after when he’s in there.”

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Watch: Wallaby coach Michael Cheika on Pocock and England game

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Pocock didn’t take a full part in training at the Wallabies base on Thursday and has now subsequently failed a fitness test ahead of Friday’s captain’s run at Twickenham. Speaking yesterday Cheika insisted that the Wallabies would take precautions to ensure that Pocock was in suitable shape to play.

“I won’t take a risk with him physically, no, if there was ever a risk and he said he couldn’t do it, then obviously not.”

It’s a huge blow for Australia, Pocock has been in good form, with his RPI moving up 2.5% in the last week to 85 points, he’s currently rated as the 8th best number 8 in the international rankings.

Pete Samu is set to slot into the backrow in place of Pocock.

The Wallabies have won just 4 of their last 14 Tests going into the match with England.

Watch: England scrum half Ben Youngs previews Australia match

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Wallabies forced into late change to XV for England Test