More rest for concussion-prone Wallaby

    2015-05-19 07:23

    Sydney - Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who said earlier this month he might retire if he was badly concussed again, will be rested from Super Rugby for another three weeks to ensure he has fully recovered from a head knock.

    The hard-running No 2 suffered the latest in a long string of concussions in the Waratahs' win over the Brumbies in Canberra on May 1 and has not played since.

    Michael Cheika, both Waratahs and Australia coach this year, said the 29-year-old would not play against the Crusaders this weekend or on the two-match tour of South Africa that follows the 2014 Super Rugby final re-match.

    "There is no point in taking him to South Africa and having doubts over him," Cheika told reporters on Tuesday.

    "We'll let him have a few weeks off and get sorted out and he can start again when we come back from South Africa."

    The reigning champion Waratahs will only have one more match this season after the South Africa trip, against the Reds in Sydney, if they fail to qualify for the playoffs.

    Polota-Nau has won 50 caps for Australia despite an injury-prone career and, if fit, would be a certainty to go the World Cup later this year.

    Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore is a strong candidate to skipper the team but Cheika puts great stock in his bench and the ability to inject strong ball-runners like Polota-Nau in the second half will be key to his strategy in England.

    Polota-Nau, whose distinctive "head-first" style of running and tackling must have contributed to the number of concussions he has suffered over his career, has been working with Australian neurologists on the effects of head damage in sport.

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