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Wary Wallabies three captains down

Will Genia is treated for an injury during the Rugby Championship match against South Africa.

Will Genia is treated for an injury during the Rugby Championship match against South Africa. Photo: Getty Images

THE Wallabies are pondering whether it is wise to announce officially another captain after Will Genia became their third Test skipper in a row to suffer a season-ending injury.

As Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper said yesterday: ''I certainly won't be putting my hand up for the captaincy. It's a curse.''

Genia will be sidelined for at least six months after damaging his right knee at virtually the same time that prop Ben Alexander scored the match-winning try that enabled the Wallabies to overhaul South Africa 26-19 at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night.

Genia twisted his knee when he landed after taking a high ball in the 71st minute. It twisted again when he was then hit in the tackle, forcing him to beckon immediately for medical attention.

''I heard three cracks … I'm gutted, really disappointed. But, at the same time, with the Test victory, the feeling is bittersweet,'' Genia said yesterday.

Genia follows original Test captain James Horwill and his replacement, David Pocock, to the sidelines for a long period. Now the Wallabies have no one left of their original 2012 leadership group - Horwill, Pocock, Genia, Pat McCabe and James O'Connor.

And Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is in no rush to name a new leadership contingent because of the fear it will further jinx a group that has been decimated by injuries this season.

''I don't think we will have a formal leader any more. We might just have someone who leads the group out the tunnel, and then have a meeting involving a few good men on Monday morning to discuss the week,'' he said.

Nick Phipps will take over the halfback duties against Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday night, while the feisty Western Force No. 9 Brett Sheehan has been called in to be his backup. It will be no surprise if Sheehan gets plenty of game time against the Pumas as his combative nature would be ideal against this confrontational opponent.

A new second rower will also be required as Sitaleki Timani is expected to be unavailable after suffering a minor hamstring strain. The most likely scenario is that Rob Simmons will move into the starting XV, with Deans explaining yesterday it was unlikely Dave Dennis would be transferred from the back row to cover the vacant lock spot.

Timani is almost as big a loss as Genia, as the Waratahs second rower easily has been the team's most consistent performer in the past three Tests. Deans knows he will miss Timani's aggression and attention to detail.

Although he was delighted his team repeatedly repelled the Springboks in the final 20 minutes, Deans was unimpressed they earlier had not followed instructions, and kept chip-kicking away possession

''Our kicking wasn't always the sharpest,'' Deans said. ''It all revolves around when you kick, why you're kicking. There's no doubt we made our job more difficult last night. Some of our kicking has been the result of anxiety.''

Ashley-Cooper knows exactly what his coach is talking about.

''We gave the South Africans too much easy ball with our general kicking,'' Ashley-Cooper said. ''Last night, there were times we did not execute the kick well enough.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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