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Wallabies resigned to losing Tupou as England Test beckons

By Ian Cameron
Taniela Tupou poses during the Australian Wallabies 2022 team headshots session on June 24, 2022 in Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images for Rugby Australia)

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The Wallabies are likely to be without star tighthead Taniela Tupou, who according to the Sydney Morning Herald, is losing a race against time to make the first Test against England next weekend.

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It’s a major blow for Dave Rennie’s Wallabies and an equally a welcome boost for Eddie Jones’ England. Rennie’s woes in the position don’t end there, with back-up tighthead Harry Johnson-Holmes also downed with an Achilles tendon issue.

As a result they’ve been forced to call up the relatively inexperienced Sam Talakai from the Rebels. According to SMH’s Georgina Robinson, they may be forced to push veteran loosehead James Slipper across to fill the void.

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The abscence of ‘Tongan Thor’ is a huge problem for this Wallabies side. As well as being a destructive scrummager, the dynamic prop is also one of Australia’s primary sources of go forward ball.

England had themselves lost the services of first choice tighthead Kyle Sinckler, who didn’t make the plane south due to an ongoing injury. Jones will be relying on Will Stuart, Patrick Schickerling and Joe Heyes in the crucial position.

England play Tests in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney on successive Saturdays, beginning next weekend.

Following defeat to their great rivals during the pool stage of a wretched home World Cup campaign in 2015, England have been victorious in the last eight clashes with the Wallabies.

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That winning streak was sparked by a 3-0 series success on their 2016 tour of Australia soon after Jones’ appointment.

Original Wallabies squad:– Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Nick Frost, Jake Gordon, Michael Hooper (c), Jed Holloway, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rob Leota, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Tate McDermott, Cadeyrn Neville, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, David Porecki, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Suliasi Vunivalu, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright.

additional reporting AAP

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