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Wallabies prop set to miss the rest of the season after 'demoralising' repeat injury

By Ben Smith
Angus Bell of the Waratahs reacts during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium, on February 24, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The NSW Waratahs have been dealt an early season blow with Wallabies prop Angus Bell set to miss the rest of the Super Rugby Pacific season after being injured against the Brumbies.

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Bell has ruptured a ligament in his big toe on the right foot, a repeat of the injury that ruled him out of Wallabies contention in 2022 after injuring the toe against England in the July series.

The 22-year-old is set to spend up to six months on the sidelines, missing the entire Super Rugby Pacific season and facing a race against the clock to be fit for Eddie Jones’ Wallabies season.

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The dynamic loosehead prop adds to the Wallabies front row concerns with star tighthead Taniela Tupou sidelined for the Super Rugby season after tearing his Achilles against Ireland last November.

The two younger props offer athleticism and playmaking, with Bell showing his class early in the Waratahs loss by setting up a try for wing Max Jorgensen with a strong carry and offload.

He had just won a massive scrum penalty for the Tahs before his injury a quarter way through the game, but did not celebrate in any way having known something had gone wrong.

Waratahs forwards coach Pauli Taumoepeau called the injury ‘demoralising’ after Bell had worked his way back from the same injury last year.

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“It’s demoralising,” Taumoepeau told Rugby.com.au.

“He’s done so much work to get to this point and he knew, he was silent.

“The scrum happened, we dominated, so as a forwards coach I was quite happy but he sort of caught my attention and I didn’t really understand what he was talking about.

“When I ran out there for him, he didn’t really give me anything other than getting 10 steps into it and he said, ‘My toe’s gone’.

“You could just tell it wasn’t good. He didn’t stop, he just kept walking straight past me back to the sheds. He knew straight away.

“I went back and looked at the footage. His reaction after a dominant scrum like that was he knew immediately what had happened.”

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