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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Wallaby injuries from the first Test against the British & Irish Lions

The Wallabies suffered a string of injuries in the 23-21 first Test loss to the Lions, starting in the first minute as debutant Christian Leali'ifano was forced from the field. Amongst other losses, today it was confirmed that Pat McCabe will be out for the year.

The home side's gameplan was thrown into a spin within a minute of kickoff as playmaker Leali'ifano, who has been superb for the Brumbies in the last two seasons, took a heavy knock via Jonathan Davies. He left the field but this week has made a good recovery, following IRB concussion guidelines, and is expected to be available for selection.

The next to go was Berrick Barnes, who collided for Israel Folau after a little push from George North. Barnes has had a history of concussions and even stopped rugby for a while because of it.

Unlike Leali'ifano, Barnes will not be considered for Saturday, but may make a return for the third.

Replacement centre McCabe came on but later had to leave the field with a recurrence of a neck injury, and after consultation with specialists, has been ruled out of rugby for the rest of the year.

"The specialist advice is that a return is viable pending the full recovery and strengthening of the neck. Only time can do that, but we will be monitoring it closely throughout the healing process," said Wallabies doctor Warren McDonald.

"There is certainly no way that Pat will be returning to the game without a thorough assessment process to ensure he can have full confidence in the bone that has fractured."

He will be in a neck brace for a minimum of six weeks. "Could have been worse," McCabe said.

Digby Ioane, who had a warrant issued for his arrest earlier this week, is also out of the series after he suffered internal damage to his right shoulder and may require surgery.

Joe Tomane, a former school and rugby league mate of Israel Folau's, will likely make his second Test start on Saturday. He is expected to start on the wing, with Kurtley Beale starting at fullback.

For the Lions, Geoff Parling will probably replace Paul O'Connell, while Mako Vunipola may be given a starting spot due to Alex Corbisiero's ongoing calf struggles. Tommy Bowe is fit again after a hand injury, so he could replace Alex Cuthbert on the right wing.

UPDATE: Both teams have been announced. View them here

Below is a quick look at how three of the main Wallaby injuries occured in the first Test

Time: 1:19
Credit:  givesy123

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:02 pm | View Comments (16)

Posted in British & Irish Lions 2013

Viewing 16 comments

themull June 26, 2013 6:59 pm

probably will be used if the Lions do go on to win. but it was much the same for the lions in the last tour, losing Ferris in the warm up matches and then losing BOD and much of their forwards in that second test

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proptank June 26, 2013 7:35 pm

Don't agree with the commentator that North deliberately tried to injure Barnes - he was trying to go for the ball and tackle Folau. Rugby is a contact sport and unfortunately these things happen - not foul play just big, big guys going full throttle for 80 minutes - as it should be. Ioane's clear out around the neck (which is so common at the moment) is far more dangerous in my eyes. IRB need to look at that otherwise serious injuries could occur as players twist necks.

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flanker2712 June 26, 2013 9:16 pm

I think North did give Folau a shove with the intention of causing a collision or at the very least a mix-up. However, that is a far cry from saying he intended to injure Barnes and am not sure how the commentator can reach that conclusion with such conviction.

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PiratesRugby June 27, 2013 1:12 am

Of course he meant for Folau to collide with Barnes. But injure? Don't think so.

If you're not from Australia you mightn't realise that the commentator is Phil Kearns, former Wallaby and long time Waratahs chauvanist. Both Barnes and Folau are Waratahs and therefore must not be touched. We're used to this over here.

No injury excuses needed for the loss. 14 points left on the field by our duo of committed professional playmakers... last seen at a burger joint at 4am.

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goodNumber10 June 27, 2013 7:53 am

Folau has the ball before North touches him.

Kearnsy was never the brightest bulb in the packet.

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matt June 26, 2013 11:09 pm

I think North was trying to push Folau off the pitch, which he would have succeeded in doing had Barnes not got in the way.
I also don't understand what the complaint is from the commentator, is he saying that North should have put his shoulder in and smashed into Folau? Because it seems to me that that would have ended far worse for Barnes.

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Guy June 27, 2013 7:29 am

Agree with proptank. Injury is part of our sport. Deliberately aiming to injure someone definitely is not.

I think if he had tackled Folau head on into Barnes, he might have had an injury himself. From his perspective it was quite a wise thing to do.

BTW: I wish Barnes and the others a speedy and full recovery.

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backrovern June 26, 2013 8:12 pm

totally agree with proptank - there is no way North could have predicted that Folau would have hit, let alone injure, Barnes. Plus for him to go down like that would be uncommon amongst most professionals. Good point about the clearing out too - there's lots of bridging now that exposes an attacking player's neck and top of the spine, it's only a matter of time before there's a serious collision that does damage to that area.

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goodNumber10 June 27, 2013 7:54 am

Folau clearly has the ball before North touches him, at which point he can push him.

Kearnsy really should just be quiet, he made himself look like a right fool.

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Colombes June 27, 2013 9:01 am

I don't know what's the goal of this video? anticipate a quite possible aussie defeat vs lions? maybe...
But as a neutral (no british, neither aussie), it's quite clear that australia is much more handicaped by injuries than lions. Furthermore, when a lion will be injured, there is a great reserve of quality players from the 4 unions to cover any post.... a quality which is not currently present in every Australian clubs

On North incident, he never tried to injure someone, but he tried to create the collision. that things happen

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Colombes June 27, 2013 9:03 am

and i don't even talk about cooper absence...

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DrG June 27, 2013 11:38 am

I suppose thats the positives and negatives of the whole tour. The Lions have a wealth of players from each of the 4 nations, the negative to that is the lack of time to gel. Much like the Barbarians, they are some of the best players from every country, but they I don't think their win record is particularly great.

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