Israel Folau and Rob Horne look set to miss Australia's crunch game with Wales on Saturday, while Michael Hooper faces a possible suspension
Mercurial full-back Israel Folau is likely to miss the game with an ankle injury, while winger Rob Horne looks set to miss out with a shoulder problem.
Then there’s Michael Hooper, who was cited for foul play after the England game and will face a hearing this week to decide his fate.
“We saw [Wales] picked up a couple of injuries against England but those guys who came in made an impact and the guys who had to start last week against Fiji did really well,” said Wallabies’ attack coach Stephen Larkham.
“Rob’s in doubt for this week and most likely he won’t play and the other injury concern is Izzy. He came off the field in the game with a sore ankle and didn’t train yesterday so we’ll see how he pulls up today and whether he trains.
“To turn it around, with our squad, they are pretty significant injuries so we are focusing internally and not on the problems the other team has.”
Reports suggest that Kurtley Beale is favourite to step into Folau’s position at the back and veteran winger Drew Mitchell will replace Horne out wide.
With both teams already guaranteed progression to the knock-out stages, the game at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon still has a great deal at stake. Should Wales prevail against Australia they would get an easier run to the final, with a probably quarter-final against Scotland at Twickenham.
Should Australia win, however, Wales would face the mammoth task of facing South Africa in the quarters, before a likely encounter with New Zealand in the semi-final and the Wallabies could again be waiting in the final.