The Wallabies have suffered a major blow ahead of their three Test tour of the United Kingdom with Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon unlikely to be available.
Centre Kerevi and loose forward McMahon were both named in Dave Rennie’s touring party but delicate conversations have continued between Suntory Sungoliath and Rugby Australia behind the scenes.
The duo are yet to be officially ruled out but the Wallabies are bracing for life without them as they instead focus their energies on paymasters Suntory and the next Japanese domestic season.
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The Wallabies have enough backrow options to cover for McMahon but they are a much lesser team without Kerevi, who was immense during the Rugby Championship.
Counteracting their loss is the expectation that five-eighth Quade Cooper will be available for the Tests against Scotland, England and Wales.
The Scotland clash is the next assignment on November 8.
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“We’re about to enter a place and play away from home, far away from home, which we haven’t done in a long time,” Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said after a patchy 32-23 win over Japan in Oita.
“We’re right in the perfect time as a group to take on that challenge.
“(Saturday) was really nice to get that result and I guess show a couple of areas that we can improve but also still tick over a win there.
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“Take that up north and take on some of these European teams.”
The Wallabies are also sweating on the fitness of fullback Reece Hodge, who suffered a pectoral injury against Japan.
Andrew Kellaway and Jordan Petaia are the most likely replacements to play against Scotland if Hodge is ruled out, while calling Kurtley Beale into the squad is also a possibility.