Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has been ruled out of Saturday night’s Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Brisbane.
Folau injured his ankle against the All Blacks in Sydney two weeks ago and missed the Wallabies’ Auckland Test last week, but was on track to return to the side for their third Test of the series.
However, he pulled up sore on Saturday morning and withdrew from the team, with Dane Haylett-Petty moving to fullback, Jack Maddocks coming onto the wing and Tom Banks making his way into the squad.
The news is a further blow to the Wallabies, who will already be without David Pocock, who has a neck injury sustained in the second Bledisloe Cup defeat in Auckland.
He has been replaced at No.8 by Pete Samu, who was not included in coach Michael Cheika’s initial 23-man squad but will now start alongside captain Michael Hooper and Lukhan Tui in the back row.
The absence of Folau and Pocock will only intensify the pressure on the Wallabies in a must-win clash against the Springboks.
The Wallabies have won just one of their five Tests this year and sit last in the Rugby Championship after two rounds.