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Monday 5 December 2016

Australia lose forwards Wycliff Palu and Will Skelton for rest of World Cup

Australia's Will Skelton receives treatment before going off injured
Australia's Will Skelton receives treatment before going off injured
Australia's Wycliff Palu

Australia forwards Wycliff Palu and Will Skelton have been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup through injury, the Australian Rugby Union has announced.

Number eight Palu (hamstring) and lock Skelton (pectoral) were injured during Sunday's win over Uruguay and, after undergoing scans on Monday, it has been confirmed they will play no further part in the tournament.

James Hanson and Sam Carter have been called up to replace the pair.

The 33-year-old Palu, who has played over 50 times for Australia, missed the Wallabies' opening World Cup match against Fiji through injury but was named in the starting XV to face Uruguay.

However, he was replaced at half-time in the 65-3 victory and that has proved to be the end of his tournament.

Skelton, meanwhile, was substituted midway through the second half with what was first believed to be a shoulder problem, but tests have shown the 23-year-old suffered a pectoral injury.

 Wycliff Palu.jpg
 Wycliff Palu

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika said: "Very few players have the opportunity to play for the Wallabies, let alone at a Rugby World Cup, so from that perspective I'm really gutted for them.

"From a team perspective, they both play important roles in the side and it is disappointing that we need to replace players in our squad."

The newcomers into the squad are 27-year-old hooker Hanson and 26-year-old second row Carter, who have won 10 and 12 caps respectively.

Neither have played in a World Cup before.

Cheika added: "Both James and Sam have been part of the team at various stages this season and I am confident they will be able to step up and grasp the opportunity they have been given."

Australia sit atop Pool A having won both their opening two matches, with Wales also boasting nine points from their two games.

The Wallabies face England at Twickenham on Saturday with the host nation knowing a defeat is likely to spell the end of their tournament following last weekend's 28-25 loss to Wales.

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