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Wallaby injury count growing for tour


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The Wallabies injury concerns have deepened after two players were added to the ever growing list of players who are unable to feature in the tour opening clash against the All Blacks in Hong Kong.

The Wallabies lost two forwards in Peter Kimlin (quad strain) and Hugh McMeniman (ankle) for the Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand on November 1 and are said to be unlikely for the opening Test of the European leg against Italy.

“It will definitely take them out of contention for the first game and probably for the second,” said Wallabies coach Robbie Deans of the Kimlin/McMeniman injury situation.

Also out of contention are Lote Tuqiri, halfback Luke Burgess and No. 8 Wycliff Palu who are all recovering from knee surgery.

“Lote is seeing the surgeon again tomorrow (Friday). He’s done a lot of volume work and we’ve tried to maintain his base, but he obviously hasn’t been running a lot.” he told Sportal.

“Hopefully he will get the all-clear and he will literally hit the ground running and then it will be a matter of how he responds to that.”

“We won’t pick him until he’s 100 per cent. He’s just got to get that volume of work behind him.”

“It’s two-fold. It’s to give him confidence as well as us.”

“Luke is going well. He’s been back out running and doing agility and he’s got a fair volume behind him.”

“Cliffy is still straight-lining it but from an injury perspective is progressing well. He’s just dealing with a personal issue at the moment, hence he’s not training with us.”

When Deans was appointed as Wallaby coach he said that fitness was a concern of his for the Tri Nations and now that he has control of the players he has been putting them through their paces.

He did however admit that the intensity of the Wallabies’ pre-tour training sessions had contributed to Kimlin and McMeniman’s injuries but made no apologies for increasing the training levels as he see this tour as crucial to Australia’s future.

After taking on New Zealand and Italy, the Wallabies meet England, France, Wales and the Barbarians who will feature George Gregan.

“These things happen when you are pushing the boundaries,” Deans said of the injuries.

“You’ve always got 22 fit players you name and they are all here because we believe they offer us something, so whoever does get the call-up it will be great opportunity for them.”

“Clearly we are going to require the whole group at some point in time.”

“It’s going to be a good tour. There are some good destinations we play at, there are some opponents who historically have given Australia a challenge.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us in terms of growing.”

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