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Michael Cheika has sympathy for suspended Scotland pair Ross Ford and Jonny Gray

Australia head coach Michael Cheika admits he feels sorry for Scotland duo Ross Ford and Jonny Gray after they were told their World Cup is over.

The Dark Blues forwards have each received three-week bans for a tip-tackle on Samoa's Jack Lam which saw the flanker dumped on his head.

Scotland are mulling over an appeal but unless they are successful, they will now sit out Sunday's quarter-final clash at Twickenham.

Cheika said: "I haven't seen the incident but I feel for them. It's the World Cup, you have worked hard for it and when you get to possibly three finals to play, you miss out.

"The same happened to Michael Hooper last week. His grandparents came over to watch him play last weekend and he was suspended. I know it's a little thing but it's important. You feel for the players."

However, the Wallabies coach does not think their enforced absences will weaken Scotland.

He said: "I haven't watched many games yet but I know the two players from their history with Scotland. They are very influential but I think these types of tournaments are made for people stepping up.

"The guys who will replace those two are ready to roll. We understand there will be 23 players in the Scotland jersey trying to smash us. It doesn't matter the names on the jerseys."


From Belfast Telegraph