Monday’s rugby news has Link signalling change, McCabe among the wounded Wallabies, O’Connor finally back and the Springboks with a close win.
Wallabies set for shake-up
Coach Ewen McKenzie has revealed that there will be some major changes to the team which was devastatingly beaten 50-21 in Saturday’s second Bledisloe Cup Test. “I said it last week, there are some good players who aren’t playing so we’ll revisit that,” McKenzie said on Sunday, emphasising, “Selection is a one-game contract.”
Along with some injury-enforced changes, McKenzie will be looking very closely at the under-performing halves combination of Nic White and Kurtley Beale as well as the outmusclued forward pack. Let us know in the comments below your changes for the next Rugby Championship game.
McCabe faces another neck scare
Wallabies winger Pat McCabe will see his career under threat once again as he awaits medical advice on the re-injured neck suffered in Saturday’s game. Scans have shown worrying signs for McCabe, who amazingly has overcome two neck fractures to return to the Test team. Centre Tevita Kuridrani looms as a replacement with Adam Ashley-Cooper to return to the wing.
The Wallabies could also be without third-choice hooker Nathan Charles, who will have scans on what is hoped to be a minor rib issue. McKenzie fears a pectoral injury though, which would see a longer recovery. As a result, James Hanson will likely make his run-on debut against South Africa.
Reds to announce O’Connor signing
The Reds will reportedly announce that former Wallaby James O’Connor has signed a two-year deal on Friday. After being released by the ARU, O’Connor began a six-month stint at Londin Irish before signing another short-term contract with Toulon.
O’Connor will need to make his mark quickly to be in the running for World Cup selection. But the 24 year-old, seen as a winger by Ewen McKenzie, will be helped by the dwinding depth in the position. JOC could offer a viable partner to the soon eligible Brumbies winger Henry Speight.
Springboks squeak past Pumas again
The Springboks have enjoyed another close 33-31 win over Argentina, relying on a massive impact from their bench. South Africa came back from 28-16 down with two tries and some clutch kicking from Morne Steyn in in the final 20-minutes.
The game once again showcased the improvement of the Pumas, with Sprinbok captain Jean De Villiers commenting after the match, “ I really think Argentina is a much better team than what their world-ranking shows…We’re happy that we could pull it through, but it could’ve gone either way.”