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Tupou under injury cloud ahead of Fiji clash

Wallabies strongman Taniela Tupou is under an injury cloud ahead of their crucial Rugby World Cup pool match against the Flying Fijians on Monday morning.

Rugby Australia confirmed that Tupou was one of Wallabies best in their tournament-opener with a convincing 35-15 win over Georgia in Paris on Sunday.

However, the Queensland Reds prop didn’t train with the team on Wednesday due to a hamstring complaint.

The Australian already has props James Slipper and Pone Fa’amausili in doubt as Slipper has been sidelined with a foot issue and was in and out of their session, seen in the early stages doing some boxing drills.

Wallabies assistant Jason Ryles said Tupou hadn’t been ruled out just yet.

The 27-year-old was key to Australia’s dominance in the scrum against Georgia while he also set up a second-half try, racing down-field before throwing a looping pass for Ben Donaldson to score.

“Taniela is on the sideline at the moment, he has got a bit of a hamstring complaint but we’re just going to monitor him and just see how he goes over the next couple of days,” Ryles said.

“He didn’t train today but that’s not unusual for Taniela, don’t worry.”

With 131 caps, Slipper is by far the most experienced player in the Wallabies camp, lining up for his fourth World Cup

“Slips (Slipper) has been managed at this stage.”

“I think he’s certainly in the picture but we’re not exactly sure how that’s going to pan out, whether it’s this week or next week.

With Australia taking on fellow big guns Wales in their third game, which could decide who tops the pool, coach Eddie Jones wants to get game time into Slipper against Fiji but can’t afford to carry him on the bench if he’s not 100 per cent.

Wallabies will take on the Flying Fijians at 3.45am in Saint-Etienne, Paris.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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