Painful injury mars Wallabies win over Japan

Key Wallabies Reece Hodge and Quade Cooper will both travel to the United Kingdom despite the former suffering a painful pectoral injury in the win over Japan.

Fullback Hodge was forced from the field in the 14th minute in Oita as the Wallabies went on to prevail 32-23 in a patchy performance to open their four game spring tour.

Despite what appeared to be a serious injury, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said Hodge would be on the plane tomorrow.

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“The plan is that he’ll travel,” Rennie said.

“We’ve still got a couple of weeks until we play Scotland so that will buy us some time to get clarity around what we do if it’s long term.

“We’ll assess that in coming days.”

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The Wallabies are already without injured first choice fullback Tom Banks.

Winger Andrew Kellaway filled in at fullback for Hodge today while Jordan Petaia is another option.

Rennie said five-eighth Cooper would also travel to the UK as the Wallabies continue to work with his club Kintetsu Liners over his international availability.

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Cooper was a mixed bag in Oita while on Stan Sport All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens described the Wallabies win as a “backwards step” from their Rugby Championship performances.

“A little bit rusty. Fairly frustrating,” Rennie admitted.

“We played a lot of good footy, but we just didn’t kick the ball enough.

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“There was a lot of space where we could apply pressure. We tended to overplay.

“We got some good go forward, almost got sucked into going more phases when they had no cover in the backfield, so that was disappointing and we ended up putting ourselves under pressure.”

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