A groin strain has ruled giant lock Nathan Sharpe out of Australia's final warm-up game ahead of the Tri Nations.
Australia keep Mumm to replace injured Sharpe
SYDNEY // Nathan Sharpe has been ruled out of Australia's final warm-up game ahead of the Tri Nations. The lock will miss tomorrow's second Test against France after injuring himself at training. Sharpe strained his groin yesterday when he stumbled during practice in Brisbane and was forced to withdraw from the squad. The big second-rower broke down during a routine drill and left the field immediately for treatment as concerned medical staff came to his aid.
"It's unfortunate but the injury is restricting Nathan, so the choice was made for us," Australia coach Robbie Deans said. "We gave it as much time as we could, to allow it to settle but with the game just two days away, we had to make the call and move on." Deans said reserve lock Dean Mumm would replace Sharpe in the starting lineup alongside James Horwill, while Queensland flanker Hugh McMeniman had been added to the bench.
"The loss of Nathan obviously tests our depth, in terms of the Test experience our two locks have but we've got total confidence in the guys who are there," Deans added. "They've done the work on the training paddock and competed well in their Test careers so far. There's a great opportunity ahead for both of them." Australia beat the French 34-13 in the first Test last weekend and the Wallabies are looking for their third straight win under Deans when they open their campaign against South Africa on July 19.