Silver lining to ‘gut-wrenching’ Wallabies blows

If there’s any positive to take out of the whopping Wallabies injury toll it’s that those who might not otherwise get an opportunity will enjoy a rare opportunity to start.

The walking wounded Wallabies have more than a full team’s worth either injured or out of action due to club commitments.

It’ll likely mean third or even fourth string players will start in the final spring tour match against Wales at Principality Stadium in Cardiff come Sunday at 2:15am (AEDT).

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After their latest loss to Ireland, the Wallabies confirmed the loss of Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Hunter Paisami, Dave Porecki, Andrew Kellaway and Nic White to injury.

Versatile forward Jed Holloway is among those expected to start in a side that will see coach Dave Rennie dig deep into the depths of his player pool.

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“I think I speak for the whole group – we’re gutted for any guy we lose,” Holloway said.

“Taniela, in particular, he’s had a fair run of injuries this year and he’s genuinely put in the hard yarns to try and get himself best available and to find that form, which he’s known for. To see him go down the way he did on the weekend was pretty gut-wrenching.

“We know our medical staff are doing everything that they can to get the boys ready. We’ve just had a rough trot. As a squad, we need to lick our wounds and go again because we’ve got another big Test match this weekend at Principality.

“What those injuries bring is a huge amount of opportunity for guys coming in and those guys need to take that opportunity and we need to get a result as a team.”

The Wallabies have been starved of success lately.

After their tight one-point win over Scotland to start their tour, Australia have had three straight losses.

The worst of all was to Italy, who ended a 39-year drought to beat Australia in Florence by one point.

Another one-point loss to France was tough to take considering the visitors led in Paris only for a late try to swing it back in favor of the home side.

Their latest encounter with Ireland saw the world No.1 prevails by just three points.

Despite a string of defeats, the Wallabies remain optimistic about their chances against Wales, who just lost to Georgia for the first time.

“We need wins,” Holloway said.

“We’re so close, so that’s what’s driving the boys to finish this tour off the way we want to.

“It’s been well documented, the disappointments. The French week, obviously Italy is a big one, and then on the weekend.

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“But we know as a group, we’re right there and we’re taking the right steps to put in a good performance. Really, striving for that is what’s driving us and motivating us for this week.

“Any win at this level is super important, but it would mean a huge amount to the group, also to the coaches and to all the staff here.

“We know the work that we’ve been putting in. We’re genuinely trying to tick every single box to get that result.

“It’s hard to describe what it would mean because it would be massive to get a result on the weekend.

“We know we’ll be put in the best position to do that from the coaching staff. It’s now on us as players to go deliver that, no matter what team we roll out, but I wouldn’t go and say we’re flat or anything because we’re 100 percent determined to finish off this year and tour in style.

“It’s not like we’re defeated and we’re keen to get home. The boys are absolutely chewing at the bit to get out there and get a result. We know Wales lost to Georgia last week so they’re going to want to make amends for that.”

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