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Deans won't rule out Giteau return

Australia coach Robbie Deans will not be sending out the SOS calls just yet, but he has not ruled out the possibility of Matt Giteau earning a World Cup reprieve.

Deans was faced with a lengthy casualty list following their 67-5 demolition of the United States in Wellington on Friday night.

"We won't be making any decisions (on replacements) in the next probably 48 hours," Deans said.

By Saturday morning concerns over Anthony Fainga'a (concussion) had eased, while a decision on bringing in any replacements would be left until Rob Horne (fractured cheekbone), Pat McCabe (dislocated shoulder) and Wycliff Palu (hamstring) had been further assessed in Christchurch where the team will have a few days' rest ahead of facing Russia next weekend.

"We'll make sure we are fully aware and fully informed before we move," added Deans. "We trained with 40 earlier in the year so it's pretty evident where we will be looking to.

"(Giteau) is obviously in the frame for a potential call-up. He was in the 40."

Deans revealed Horne had a minor displacement of his cheekbone, while McCabe's dislocated shoulder did not appear to be "as grave as it potentially could have been".

Palu will have an MRI scan on his hamstring in Christchurch.

Hat-trick hero Adam Ashley-Cooper was part of the walking wounded, which included Kurtley Beale (tight hamstring), after hurting his ankle but he was confident he would be fit for the Russia game.

Surprisingly it was Fainga'a who pulled up the best of the injured group despite being knocked out cold and taken off on a stretcher in a neck brace in the closing minutes of the match.


From Belfast Telegraph