Rugby Championship

Late blow for All Blacks as back-up prop ruled out

2018-08-16 10:38
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Getty Images)

Cape Town - In a late blow to the All Blacks, reserve tighthead Ofa Tu'ungafasi has been ruled out of the Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with a rib cartilage injury.

According to the Stuff website, Crusaders prop Tim Perry, a loosehead specialist, has come on to the bench, and tighthead Jeffery Toomaga-Allen is en route to Sydney to join the squad as cover.

Karl Tu'inukuafe, originally named as a loosehead substitute, has switched to the back-up tighthead role in a late injury reshuffle for the Test which will also double as the first Bledisloe Cup clash.

Kick-off is at 12:05 SA time.

Coach Steve Hansen confirmed regular loosehead Tu'inukuafe, who has made a fairy tale rise through the rugby ranks this year to break into the All Blacks, would now switch sides to  become the tighthead cover off the bench.

"That's where he started his career, and he has trained really well there," said Hansen. 

"Crono (scrum coach Mike Cron) has been working with him for the last three or four weeks. He looks good there."

All Blacks centurion-to-be Sam Whitelock also backed his Crusaders team-mate Perry to step in and do the job off the bench.

"He's had some bad injuries in the past, but he's here now, he's fresh and ready to go," said Whitelock.

"I think when he gets out there he's just going to get into it. That's when Tim goes the best, when he's not thinking about things and is just out there being his normal annoying self."



15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Tom Robertson

Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Jack Maddocks

New Zealand (revised)

15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Tim Perry, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

Read more on:    all blacks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby


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