Force

Fava earns bench spot in place of injured Palu

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Western Force Number 8 Scott Fava is set to make his first Test appearance of the year for the Qantas Wallabies after reserve back-rower Wycliff Palu was today ruled out of Saturday’s clash with New Zealand with a hamstring injury.


Palu, who made his Test debut against England at the Telstra Dome last month, injured his hamstring during a training session in Coffs Harbour on Saturday.


Fava, who returned to play Club rugby with Eastwood at the weekend, will be named in a Wallaby 22 for the first time since last year’s Spring Tour when the team for Saturday’s Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup opener against New Zealand is announced tomorrow morning.


Palu will leave Camp Wallaby and return to Sydney today, with Queensland Number 8 John Roe set to join the squad in Coffs Harbour this afternoon.


‘Cliffy’s got a small tear in his hamstring which is not a serious one but we didn’t want to risk doing further damage by playing him this weekend,’ said Qantas Wallabies Coach John Connolly.


‘We’ve been happy with the way Scott Fava has trained throughout the campaign and he deserves his opportunity on the bench,’ added Connolly.


Winger Clyde Rathbone has also succumbed to a hamstring injury and is unavailable for Saturday’s Test.


‘Clyde has progressed quite well since injuring his hamstring in Perth last week but is still a little bit off running at full pace,’ said Connolly.


‘Again, (Rathbone’s) is not serious problem but we thought it best to give him the extra week to get it right.’


A twenty-four man touring squad for the opening Tri-Nations clash with the All Blacks in Christchurch this Saturday night will be announced tomorrow.


The squad will depart Coffs Harbour tomorrow (Tuesday) for an overnight stay in Sydney before flying out for Christchurch on Wednesday morning.

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