Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Wallabies duo ruled out of series

Pat McCabe suffered a neck injury during Saturday's 23-21 defeat in Brisbane

Australia backs Digby Ioane and Pat McCabe have been ruled out of the remaining two Tests against the British and Irish Lions.

Ioane and McCabe suffered shoulder and neck injuries respectively during Saturday's 23-21 defeat in Brisbane and the Australian Rugby Union has announced that they will play no further part in the series.

Berrick Barnes will miss the second Test in Melbourne with concussion, but Christian Leali'ifano could feature after recovering well from his concussion. Adam Ashley-Cooper is also on course for selection against the Lions this weekend after making encouraging progress with his shoulder problem.

It is a mixed injury update for Australia, who played the final quarter of an epic first Test with a patched-up backline that featured flanker Michael Hooper at inside centre.

They endured a terrible succession of injuries - Leali'ifano, Barnes and McCabe were carried off on a stretcher - and the loss of Ioane in particular will be keenly felt. The tackle-busting wing had only just returned from knee surgery and is one of the Wallabies' main strike weapons.

McCabe, a solid and direct centre, started Saturday on the bench but came on after just 50 seconds once Leali'ifano had been knocked unconscious.

"Ioane suffered internal damage to his right shoulder and will also require further follow up scans with surgery a possibility," an ARU statement read. "McCabe re-injured his neck in a similar location to an injury first sustained last year. He will be seeing specialists in Sydney in the coming days to ascertain the way forward following further scans."

Barnes' recovery is being managed according to concussion guidelines and he has a strong chance of being available for the final Test in Sydney on July 6.

Leali'ifano has made good progress and is expected to be considered for Saturday, while scans revealed that Ashley-Cooper's shoulder should heal in time for his participation.

The Wallabies name their team on Thursday as they seek to level the series with victory in Melbourne.

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