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IRB hands out extraordinary suspension to Wallaby

Date

A good disciplinary record saved Rob Simmons from a 14-week ban after his lifting tackle on breakaway Yannick Nyanga in last Saturday's Test against France was deemed by IRB to be on the "high end" of the scale.

Hot water ... Rob Simmons's tackle on Yannick Nyanga.

Hot water ... Rob Simmons's tackle on Yannick Nyanga. Photo: AP

LONDON: The Wallabies spring tour has taken a double hit overnight with centre Pat McCabe ruled out of the Test against England and lock Rob Simmons banned for eight weeks.

McCabe reported stiffness in his neck after the Wallabies loss to France last week, which worsened in training and requires further scans.

Coach Robbie Deans said the "best case scenario" was a one-match rest for the centre, who was one of the few consistent presences in the back line recently.

The Wallabies used this tackle by France winger Wesley Fofana on Adam Ashley-Cooper as evidence.

The Wallabies used this tackle by France winger Wesley Fofana on Adam Ashley-Cooper as evidence. Photo: AFP

His loss will force yet another reshuffle, with Mike Harris or Ben Tapuai possible replacements. In the latter instance, Adam Ashley-Cooper could move to outside centre, with Berrick Barnes starting at fullback and Digby Ioane and Nick Cummins on the wings.

Deans is due to name the side to face England on Thursday morning local time.

There is also a looming locks crisis in the Wallabies after the IRB handed Reds lock Simmons an eight-week ban for a lifting tackle on France flanker Yannick Nyanga. Deans said the ARU had not decided whether it would appeal.

"We're disappointed in the decision but I haven't had the opportunity to read the decision yet and obviously we'll do that before we settle on [whether] that's the end of the matter or not," he said.

In its decision, the IRB judicial officer deemed Simmons's tackle to be at the "high end" of the scale, so gave an entry point of 12 weeks. Two weeks was added as a "deterrent" before six weeks was taken off the penalty for Simmons's "exemplary previous disciplinary record".

With a second lock, Kane Douglas, already ruled out of Saturday's Test with a knee injury, Simmons's suspension increases the likelihood that Scott Higginbotham will be called into the squad following the end of his two-Test ban this weekend.

"We've maintained contact with Scotty, he continues to train and from the outset was hopeful that it wouldn't be the end of his tour prospects," Deans said.

"He's obviously a bloke who would have been here if he hadn't had that setback so he's high on our list."

Deans did not rule out calling for two replacements but said it would hinge on Douglas's recovery.

"If the medical staff believe it's marginal that he'll be available to us next week we'll probably have to act," he said.

For Saturday's Test, versatile forward Dave Dennis, who is likely to start in the back row, could be moved to lock to replace Sitaleki Timani or Nathan Sharpe, should the need arise, with Radike Samo to come off the bench at blindside.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
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SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
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AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
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WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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