Daily Mirror



AUSTRALIA’S poster boy Taniela Tupou is a major doubt for Saturday’s opening Test with England here in Perth in a potential hammer blow for the hosts.

The ‘Tongan Thor’, who weighs in at over 20-stone and has won 38 caps, injured his calf playing for the Reds in May – and the Australian­s are leaning towards not risking him.

Prop Tupou (above) missed the end of the Super Rugby season, but has been used in promotiona­l adverts in Australia where he is depicted gatecrashi­ng a tea party full of upper crust England fans.

Tupou’s absence would force Australia head coach Dave Rennie (left) into a front row reshuffle.

At hooker, Rennie may hand a Test debut to Dave Porecki, who could lock horns with his old mate from Saracens, Jamie George.

Poreck said: “The Premiershi­p revolves around set piece and physicalit­y. So you know that’s what England are going to bring.

“They’re going to try to dominate you up front, control territory and play in the right areas of the field. You need to be able to match that.”

Jonny May, who tested positive for Covid last week, is still in isolation but England are hoping he can train with them by Thursday.

That would give him time to prove his fitness for a team missing the likes of injured Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Kyle Sinckler, Anthony Watson, George Ford and Alex Dombrandt.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom