Injured Tupou expected back for World Cup

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Dave Rennie is confident Wallabies steamroller Taniela Tupou will be back from injury in time for next year’s World Cup, while promising a review into the causes of Rugby Australia’s colossal list of losses .

Tupou suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon against Ireland on Sunday, with four other Wallabies also injured in the 13-10 loss in Dublin.

With former captain Michael Hooper the latest to be ruled out with a concussion, nine players have now been sent home to recover from a horror European tour that also included one-point defeats at the hands of France and Italy.

Despite Tupou’s grim prognosis, Rennie has allayed fears the prop manager will miss the World Cup in September.

“The recovery time (is) over seven months so it’s unlikely he’ll be back in time for the Super (Rugby) but he will be back in time for the international,” the coach said on Friday. .

The New Zealander pledged to conduct a review into the causes of the glut of casualties but dismissed claims that Tupou’s injury was the result of overexertion.

“Obviously it’s disappointing,” Rennie said.

“With the number of injuries we have, we will have a good overview of what caused some of them.

“Some are bad luck and some are if it’s something we do on our program we have to adjust.”

One bright spot for Rennie was the opportunity to blood fringe players with valuable first-team minutes.

“There’s no doubt that we have some time in the band playing and they’re no strangers to what we’re trying to do,” he said.

“Injuries have created opportunities and that gives a chance to create more depth and competition for places.”

Five-eighth Ben Donaldson will get his first international start when the Wallabies take on Wales on Sunday (AEDT) in the fifth and final game of their spring tour.

“He’s been training really well, he’s got points of difference and we want to know what it’s like under the torch,” Rennie said of the 23-year-old.

Langi Gleeson, 21, will also start in his opener, while prop Sam Talakai could earn his first cap from the bench.

With just 25 in-form players to choose from, lock Darcy Swain and prop Matt Gibbon were the only two overlooked for Cardiff’s end-of-tour test.

“We have a Murphy’s Law group where we put guys in just in case someone goes down on a Friday or in a warm-up that the others are clear in their roles and can step in,” Rennie said.

“There’s no doubt that we have some time in the band playing and they’re no strangers to what we’re trying to do.

“Injuries have created opportunities and that gives a chance to create more depth and competition for places.”

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