Australia Without Lealiifano For All Blacks Test

by
Reuters
Australia centre Christian Lealiifano will miss this weekend's Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand because of an ankle injury, increasing the likelihood Quade Cooper will start a match against the All Blacks for the first time this year.

Australia Without Lealiifano For All Blacks Test

Australia centre Christian Lealiifano will miss this weekend's Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand because of an ankle injury, increasing the likelihood Quade Cooper will start a match against the All Blacks for the first time this year.

Lealiifano had joined injured flanker Scott Fardy in being unavailable for the Dunedin test, coach Ewen McKenzie told a news conference on Monday, with Matt Toomua likely to replace him at inside centre for the match against the world champions.

Toomua started at flyhalf in both of the Rugby Championship defeats to the All Blacks this season and Cooper is now almost certain to retain the number 10 shirt he has held for the last four matches.

Lealiifano has played all nine of Australia's matches this year since making his test debut against the British and Irish Lions in June and his assured place-kicking could be sorely missed by the Wallabies on Saturday.