Wallabies star set to miss Rugby Championship

2 weeks ago 7
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Izack Rodda is set to fill the 1.98m void left by Lukhan Salakaia-Loto throughout the remainder of the Rugby Championship.

Lock Salakaia-Loto had already been ruled out of Sunday's third Bledisloe Cup Test in Perth as he awaits the birth of his child.

But Wallabies coach Dave Rennie revealed on Stan Sport's Rugby Heaven that COVID-19 complications meant the Test regular would be sidelined for much longer than that.

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Lukhan Salakaia-Loto of the Wallabies takes lineout ball at Eden Park. (Getty)

"He's gone back to Sydney so the fact that he'd have to quarantine for a couple of weeks coming back, he's probably unlikely to play in the Rugby Championship," Rennie said.

The Wallabies' final game of the Rugby Championship is against Argentina on October 2.

Salakaia-Loto's absence is an obvious blow but it is offset by the return of Rodda.

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Izack Rodda wins lineout ball against the All Blacks at Eden Park. (Getty)

The 25-year-old is back on the Rugby Australia payroll and in the good books after a controversial move to France which saw him fall foul of Reds coach Brad Thorn.

He is yet to play under Rennie but the coach said he was primed for a Test recall.

"Izack Rodda… came out of quarantine probably not quite where he needed to be," Rennie said.

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"He's really worked on his power, explosiveness, agility, he's made really good strides.

"He's a strong chance to feature on the weekend."

Rennie will reveal his team on Friday with another returning star, Samu Kerevi, in line to replace another father-in-waiting, Hunter Paisami, in Australia's midfield.

Samu Kerevi has been recalled to the Wallabies. (Getty)

"It's good from Hunter's perspective, we'll go back to Queensland (for the rest of the Rugby Championship) so he'll be able to rejoin the squad at some stage," Rennie said.

"Not so straightforward for Lukhan."

Rodda told reporters that he had added extra physicality to his game while playing in France for Lyon.

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"It's been a long journey that probably started this time last year when I left, but I'm very pumped to be back," Rodda said.

"I didn't expect it to happen this quick at all, just thought I'd be in Perth for the next six months (training with new club the Force).

"But it's why I'm back, it's a dream of mine to represent the Wallabies."

Rieko Ioane, Sam Whitelock and Codie Taylor of the All Blacks perform the haka at Eden Park. (Getty)

The All Blacks are also missing three dads-to-be in Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith and Richie Mo'unga.

But they have all sorts of replacement options including Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie.

The Wallabies desperately need to claim victory at Optus Stadium to gain a foothold in the Rugby Championship and shore up confidence in Rennie's rebuild job.

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"We've learnt a lot over the last couple of Bledisloes," Rennie said.

"We know we've got to be better for longer so looking forward to the opportunity to show that. Whoever they (All Blacks) throw in there they're pretty lethal.

"We've gifted them some pretty soft points… intercepts, they're too good to gift points.

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"We had a period of 11 minutes (in the second Bledisloe Test) where we made 11 errors and they scored 17 points.

"We've got to be resilient throughout the 80.

"We want to put a bit of scoreboard pressure on them and we haven't been able to do that."

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