x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Mortlock may be ruled out

Australia could face the rest of the Tri Nations without their captain, who will undergo scans to determine the severity of a knee injury suffered during the defeat to South Africa.

Australia could face the rest of the Tri Nations without captain Stirling Mortlock, 32, who will undergo scans to determine the severity of a knee injury suffered during the 29-17 defeat to South Africa on Saturday. Mortlock admitted the injury might cost him the final four fixtures. "You know in yourself when it doesn't feel right and it didn't feel right so we'll investigate - it's hard to tell, you don't know with these things so fingers crossed," he said. "All things being considered it's not too bad at this stage.

"We'll get scans and then know what's in front of us." The Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has also accepted that he may be without his captain for the remainers os the series. "Stirling will need an MRI [scan]. He had an x-ray and there's no bone damage but there's still the prospect of some cartilage damage," Deans said. Deans has threatened to drop players after lapses in on-field discipline contributed to their defeat to South Africa.

Sin-binned players left Australia without manpower and they also conceded 13 penalties. "If you keep going back to that trough and don't address that habit, there's only one other way of addressing it, that's to remove those that are drinking from that trough," he said. sports@thenational.ae