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Wallabies: Michael Hooper injured in Australia vs. England, spring tour news, Dave Rennie

For the first time in his tenure as Wallabies coach, Dave Rennie is facing the possibility of leaving Michael Hooper out of his line-up.

The Wallabies may be forced to do without Michael Hooper for the first time in the Dave Rennie era when they meet Wales for their final game of the year on Sunday morning (AEDT).

A foot injury forced the influential skipper, who has played in each of Rennie’s 19 games at the helm, to leave the field midway through the second half of the Wallabies’ 32-15 loss to England on Monday morning.

He watched from the sidelines as his teammates bled 13 points without him and eventually went down to Eddie Jones’ men for an eighth consecutive occasion.

Hooper said he would be doing everything in his power to be fit and firing for the fourth and final game of the Wallabies’ spring tour.

“I’ve done something to my foot. We’ll take a look at it,” Hooper told reporters post-match.

“It feels all right but the medical staff have buoyed me a bit with how it is, which is good.

“It was part of the tackle. Just a rugby injury.

“I’ll give it every chance I can.”

In better news, Rennie expects influential big men Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa to overcome concussion concerns and return to the fray for the game in Cardiff.

“We’re pretty confident we will get both of those boys back,” Rennie said.

Australia arrived in the UK on a high, having strung together five-straight wins, but consecutive losses to Scotland and England in the past week have brought Rennie’s men back to earth.

Rennie said the latest effort was “not good enough” and that while the penalty count may have swung in England’s favour (18-9), the Wallabies only had themselves to blame for the defeat.

“The possession and territory stats were in the 60s (per cent) in favour of England and they choked us down there,” Rennie said.

“We just made too many errors and dumb penalties and that put us under pressure.

“It was frustrating.”

Rennie refused to point the finger at referee Jaco Peyper.

“We’re not going to complain about Jaco’s refereeing,” Rennie said.

“I thought he controlled the game pretty well.

“Most of the issues were our own doing. We got ourselves in good position with the ball and we got stripped, I think three times.

“We’ve got to be better.”

The coach commended his side for staying in the fight to trail by only four points at halftime.

“There was a lot of character shown tonight,” Rennie said.

“We fought hard. I felt if we could string a few more phases together, we could have put them under a little bit of heat, but we weren’t accurate enough and not good enough tonight.”

Rennie said his men were determined to head into the holiday season as winners.

“It’s hugely important,” Rennie said.

“I think the support we have back at home and the support we have here, they deserve better (than the loss to England). We definitely want to finish on a high.”


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