Wallaby ‘Tongan Thor’ out of Bledisloe opener: report


SYDNEY, Aug 18, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Australia reportedly suffered a late blow
Saturday when a hamstring injury forced prop Taniela Tupou out of the opening
Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Sydney.

The Wallabies had been relying on the young tighthead to make an impact
off the bench as they seek a win to kick-start their quest to end New
Zealand’s 15 years of Bledisloe domination.

But Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said the 22-year-old, dubbed “the Tongan
Thor”, tweaked his hamstring at training on Friday and would not participate
in the Saturday evening match.

It said Tupou, who has earned four caps from the bench and performed
strongly in the June series against Ireland, may recover in time for the
second Test in Auckland next week.

Uncapped Melbourne Rebels prop Jermaine Ainsley will replace him for the
fixture, which also doubles as the Rugby Championship opener, it added.