Wallabies lose Pocock for Ireland in World Cup

Wallabies flanker David Pocock has been forced to withdraw from Australia’s Rugby World Cup clash against Ireland in Auckland.

Pocock missed Australia’s last training session on Friday after waking up with
soreness in his lower back, a complaint that has troubled him before.

“It’s more of an ongoing irritation than anything serious, scans have
shown nothing sinister, but David is a key member of our group. We would rather
give him a bit of time to get it right before putting him back out there,”
Australia coach Robbie Deans said in a statement.

McCalman has only played at No. 8 and as a blindside flanker in his 14 test
appearances, highlighting the risk of Deans’ decision as the Wallabies chase
their first victory at Eden Park in 25 years. Beau Robinson is the only other
natural No. 7 in Australia’s squad.

“Although Ben isn’t a recognized openside, he does have some recent background
there and has trained in the role on a regular basis with us this year,”
Deans said. “We were looking to give him an outing on the openside before
our pool program concluded. It’s now just come a bit earlier than we’d originally

“He is well suited to the role, being strong around the contact area and
good over the ball, which is a legacy of his time in the Australian Sevens program.”

Revised Team line ups.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan, Denis Leamy, Conor Murray, Ronan O’Gara, Andrew Trimble.

Australia: Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Anthony Fainga’a, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dan Vickerman, James Horwill (captain), Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Radike Samo.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, Drew Mitchell.

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