Lealiifano out of NZ Test

 Oct 14,2013
Written by: Editor

Wallabies centre Christian Lealiifano will miss Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Dunedin with an ankle injury.

The Wallabies are the clear underdogs and have the odds stacked against them as they seek their first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand since 2001.

Matt Toomua is expected to start at inside center for Australia in the test at Dunedin's indoor stadium while fly-half Quade Cooper, already a target for raucous Kiwi fans, may take over the kicking duties.

Lealiifano suffered a compression injury to his right ankle during Australia's 52-17 win over Argentina in the last match of the Rugby Championships two weeks ago.

Utility forward Scott Fardy has also been ruled out of the match with bleeding behind one eye.

Wallabies boss Ewen McKenzie chose to rule out Lealiifano for this Test to ensure he is fit for the Wallabies five-Test spring tour to Europe next month.

"Lealiifano's ankle is swollen, he's had an ongoing problem there for some time," McKenzie told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The reality is the short term pain is to rest him and get him back to as close to 100 per cent as possible so [that for] the next five games he's playing at 100 per cent as opposed to pushing him through now and forcing him to play six games at 80 per cent.

"I don't think that's fair on him or the team. It's a medical decision that's logical."


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