Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will seek overseas reinforcements for his team after fullback Reece Hodge joins a long list of casualties ahead of crucial test matches in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Wallabies landed in the UK this week facing some sort of injury crisis following Saturday’s 33-22 win over Japan.
Already absent from Marika Koroibete and Pone Fa’amausili, Japan-based duo Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon have officially stepped down, while Reece Hodge has been erased for the remainder of the spring tour after succumbing to a chest injury. against the Japanese.
Without first-choice fullback Tom Banks, who is nursing a broken arm, Hodge’s confirmed omission leaves Rennie’s backline stocks severely depleted leading to the first of three UK tests, starting with Scotland on the 8th. November.
Kerevi and McMahon’s decision to stay in Japan could also be followed by Quade Cooper, who could opt for the return of the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners club.
Rennie admits he will be forced to seek more reinforcements overseas amid the untimely woes of injury.
“We’re going to need more than one to leave Marika and Pone at home and we haven’t replaced any of these guys,” said the Wallabies coach.
“With Hodgey injured and these guys who aren’t from Japan, we’re just a little skinny.
“We have to get board approval because, again, our preference is not to drag these guys from Australia. They are a fair way of their free time and active rest. We have a really good plan for them for the preseason. “
There have been calls for Kurtley Beale to be called home, who gained legs over the weekend with the injuries to Banks and Hodge.
Rennie has confirmed he has had conversations with Beale, who last played for the Wallabies in 2019 and is currently based in France.
“We made contact with Kurtley, and we had conversations with Kurtley for a while,” he revealed.
“He made it clear that he wanted to be a wallaby again, and with the introduction of some of the guys he used to play with, he was pretty excited about it.”
Jordan Petaia is emerging as another option at the back against the Scots, while Rennie also liked what he saw from fellow winger Andrew Kellaway, who replaced injured Hodge in the second half against Japan.
“I thought Jordy was excellent this weekend. Excellent because he did all the little things well. Normally when you talk about Jordy you talk about his X factor and the amazing unloading or the big break, but he was really, really strong in highball, in defense and his pace of work was really good off the ball ” , added Rennie.
“He was really solid. We think he has the skills to play 15, (but) we think Andrew Kellaway is probably better suited at the moment. He played a big part of the game there last week.
“It’s definitely a position Jordy would like to play, I hope he gets some experience at the Super Rugby level.”
The victory over Japan marked the Wallabies’ fifth straight win ahead of the upcoming tests against Scotland, England and Wales.