Depth to be tested in the Australia side ahead of clash against Kiwis due to injuries.
Experienced hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and lock Peter Kimlin are out of the Wallabies’ extended squad for the Rugby Championship because of injury and will miss the opener against New Zealand.
Coach Ewen McKenzie on Wednesday called up Queensland Reds hooker Albert Anae to replace Polota-Nau in the 38-man squad, which will be cut to 30 on Friday, ahead of next week’s Test against the All Blacks in Sydney.
Polota-Nau was ruled out with a hamstring problem, but will only need two weeks of rehabilitation and will play a part in the four-nation tournament.
Second-rower Kimlin is set to miss the entire Rugby Championship, sidelined for up to six weeks for surgery on a broken thumb suffered in the ACT Brumbies’ Super Rugby semi-final victory over the Northern Bulls in Pretoria.
“It’s always disappointing to lose players through injury but in Tatafu’s case we don’t expect him to be out long and he will still play a large part in our upcoming campaign,” McKenzie said.
“What his injury has done though is open the door for Albert to take up an opportunity.
“Albert is still young for a front-rower but his versatility is a real asset, while he also possesses the appropriate size and strength to adapt positively to the new scrum laws.
“You’re always searching for players with a lot of potential and Albert is a guy who will learn plenty from being part of the national environment.”