Tuesday’s rugby news has the Brumbies trying to cover for Pocock, NSW line-out concerns, McCaw to miss two months and two English reinforcements.
Brumbies ok without Pocock
ACT coach Stephen Larkham has assured fans that his team will be able to cover for the loss of flanker David Pocok if scans reveal any further knee damage. While Pat McCabe’s neck was cleared of serious injury, allowing him to play this week, Pocock is awaiting the results of scans on his knee this morning, hoping that there is no aggravation of last year’s ACL tear.
‘The guys that we’ve got on the sideline and reserves bench have had a fair bit of experience playing at No. 7,’ Larkham said. The injury could force a restructure of the backrow, with Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler and Lachlan McCaffery possible replacements. Larkham could also shift Fardy to 6 and promote Leon Power to starting in the second row. [/one_half]
Tahs told to lift
Second-rower Kane Douglas has said that the Waratahs will need to improve their performance in the line-out this weekend. With the Brumbies boasting one of Australia’s best jumpers in Ben Mowen, Douglas has emphasised that their lineout execution cannot show the same mental lapses that crept into their game against the Reds.
‘There were a couple of calls that were a bit muddled,’ Douglas said. ‘We turned over a few balls which gave them some good field position … we will be better for that.’ The Waratahs lock also emphasised that the key to minimizing the destructive force of Mowen will not be to implement a new calling strategy but to improve their individual execution- ‘from the call, to the throw, lift and jump for the ball.’ [/one_half]
McCaw facing surgery
Richie McCaw is set to undergo surgery to have a screw inserted in his broken thumb today. While the operation is very common and will have no-long term effects, McCaw will be out of action for the Crusaders for eight weeks. The legendary All Black sustained the injury during the first half of the team’s loss to the Blues last Friday.
The injury could not have come at a worse time, with the Crusaders currently sitting at the bottom of the Super Rugby ladder after losing their two opening matches, including blowing a 17-3 lead and concede 29 unanswered points to the Blues . [/one_half]
Tuilagi back in English squad
Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi and London Irish wing Marland Yarde have been recalled to the England squad ahead of the Six Nations clash against Wales at Twickenham. After a 5 month injury lay-off due to a chest injury, Tuilagi played 70 minutes in the Tigers’ 41-18 win against Newcastle on Sunday, confirming his readiness to rejoin the English team. On Saturday, Yarde completed his first full game since a hip problem in November during the Exiles’ 18-0 loss to Exeter.
England and Wales, who meet on Sunday, are involved in a four-way tie at the top of the Six Nations standings with Ireland and France. [/one_half]