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Wallabies lose third skipper in Genia

Date

Ben Horne

Will Genia will miss six months after rupturing his ACL.

Will Genia will miss six months after rupturing his ACL. Photo: Getty Images

When Wallabies skipper Will Genia hobbled from Patersons Stadium in Perth on Saturday night with a blown out knee, David Pocock said to him, ''mate, let's not have a captain''.

Genia became the third victim of Australia's alarming captain's curse and in a devastating blow to the Wallabies' Rugby Championship and Spring Tour hopes, the star scrumhalf requires surgery and is expected to miss six months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

Skippers James Horwill (hamstring) and Pocock (knee) have already gone down this season with the 'c' next to their name and it's with some reluctance that coach Robbie Deans hands the badge on to veteran Nathan Sharpe.

The leadership and depth of the Wallabies will now be severely tested for the remainder of the year with Sharpe retiring after the Rugby Championship, and Horwill and Pocock only outside chances of travelling to Europe in November.

Melbourne Rebels No.9 Nick Phipps is set to replace Genia in the starting team against Argentina on the Gold Coast this week and Western Force veteran Brett Sheehan has also been called into the squad.

Genia heard three cracks in his right knee when he landed awkwardly with 11 minutes remaining in Australia's 26-19 win over South Africa and knew his fate almost immediately.

''I'm gutted,'' Genia said yesterday. ''I took the high ball and as I landed I twisted in on my knee and I got hit and then it twisted further. I knew I'd done something as soon as I heard the cracks.

''Then when I got up and tried to take off and couldn't support any weight I knew I'd done something quite serious.''

Genia is confident there's enough experience in the group to cope without a third elected skipper.

''Sharpie assumes that leadership role and what last night and over the last couple of weeks has showed is we're building depth,'' he said.

''I reckon [Phipps] will do really well. He's got a good work ethic and he's got a big motor.''

Deans, who has received some relief from the pressure mounting on his job, said the tenacious game of Sheehan would benefit the group.

He was also confident Phipps would cope despite his lack of experience.

''Phippsy's ready. It's been a challenge for him to be in the shadow … but he's understood the need for him to really immerse himself in training as though it's the game,'' Deans said.

Lock Sitaleki Timani (hamstring) is highly unlikely for the Argentina fixture, with Rob Simmons or Kane Douglas to replace him.

Veteran hooker Stephen Moore succumbed to a low-grade hamstring injury before the Springboks match, while centre Rob Horne tore his hamstring in club rugby.

The positives for the Wallabies are that inside-centre Pat McCabe is available for selection against the Pumas and James O'Connor will join the squad with a view to being fit for the trip to South Africa and Argentina later this month. AAP

SATURDAY

Rugby Championship: Australia v Argentina at Skilled Park, Gold Coast, 8pm.

TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 3 and delayed on WIN at 9.50pm.

Rugby Internationals 2014

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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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
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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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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
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RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
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FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
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IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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