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Timani charged with striking, faces ban

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Wallabies face 'desperate' Wales

Wales's 13-man lineout against the All Blacks shows they can be ingenious when desperate, warns Paul Cully. But he says the Wallabies should be able to beat them easily.

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Cardiff: The Wallabies are facing the loss of powerful lock Sitaleki Timani after he was cited for allegedly striking an opponent in the test against Italy last weekend.

Timani appeared to smack prop Andrea Lo Cicero Vaina in the mouth with his forearm during a scuffle involving Lo Cicero, Italian hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe in the 13th minute of the test.

Footage also shows a high tackle on Sharpe that appears to have sparked the confrontation, as well as Timani's subsequent blow catching Ghiraldini in the face.

Cited ... Sitaleki Timani.

Cited ... Sitaleki Timani. Photo: Reuters

Lo Cicero, a stout front-rower, is shown wrenching two-metre-tall Sharpe backwards, with his arm around the Australian's neck.

During the ensuing scuffle, Sharpe appears to plant his palm over Lo Cicero's face before Timani plants the alleged strike on the hooker's jaw.

The charge will be heard in Bristol, England, at 9am on Wednesday (about 8pm AEDT).

A suspension would be a blow to the Wallabies' scrum, which has benefited from Timani's strength and power during the past two test matches.

Versatile forward Dave Dennis could be called on to replace his Waratahs team mate in the second row against Wales this weekend, although Kane Douglas rejoined the squad from London on Sunday night and could be passed fit to play.

Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville is also available.

Wallabies back-rower Scott Higginbotham, who recently served a two-game ban for striking All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, said Timani's citation was a shame.

"You can't really do much these days and get away with it. There's quite a few blokes going to the judiciary this week but I suppose it's that time of year – it's towards the end of the year and I suppose you're getting a bit frustrated," Higginbotham said.

"But the physicality will still be there, [No.8 Wycliff Palu] has brought that back with him ... The backs are looking very tough, Adam Ashley-Cooper is doing well at the breakdown and a lot of the boys are following in there."

Welsh second rower Luke Charteris said the Wallabies had the depth to cover Timani's potential absence.

"He's a good player for them, he's been playing well, but for a country with a relatively small population they always seem to have pretty good strength and depth," Charteris said. "I'm sure whoever comes in will step up to the mark."

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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
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Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
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