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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.''

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
View All Fixtures
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
View All Fixtures
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
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
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
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
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
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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