The Wallaby's nightmare run of injuries has continued with flanker Michael Hooper ruled out of Sunday's Test against Wales with a concussion.
It comes just days after six players were ruled out of the series finale in Cardiff after picking up knocks during the three-point defeat to Ireland.
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The legendary backrower presented with concussion symptoms following the Test and was ruled out on Monday according to Wallabies officials.
Hooper will return home to Australia on Thursday, with the Wallabies yet to confirm the line-up.
“We’re gutted for any guy we lose but Taniela in particular, he’s had a fair run of injuries this year and genuinely put in the hard yards to try and get himself best available and find that form which he’s known for,” backrower Jed Holloway told reporters regarding the injury crisis on Tuesday before the Hooper news dropped.
“To see him go down the way he did was pretty gut-wrenching but we know our medical staff here and doing everything they can to get the boys ready.
“We’ve just had a rough trot but we need to lick our wounds and go again because we’ve got a big Test at Principality this weekend. What the injuries provide is a huge opportunity for guys coming in and those guys need to take it and we need to get a result.
“…They’re hard to train for because they are outliers, you have to trust those guys know the gameplan we’re trying to play and go out there and execute and they know the game plan wherever they play. Jordy (Petaia) is a great example there, thrown in after three minutes and came on and killed it. We lost a lot of guys but I think those that came on killed it.”
Both Holloway and outside back Jordan Petaia stressed the importance of the side 'switching off' away from the field, conscious of the mental toll five back-to-back Tests can have on a side.
“It’s just finding those moments when to switch off and not think about Rugby so when you are on the training paddock or in the meetings, you are 100% on," Holloway believes.
“That’s important after a long season because if you are constantly thinking about Rugby, you’ll burn out. Taking those opportunities and really being in the moment is super important.”
“It’s definitely a longer stretch of games with the five games instead of three on tour (in 2021 and 2018) so it’s been a bigger toll on the body and mentally," Petaia added.
“If you are on all the time, it can be draining so making sure you are taking the time to switch off is good for the final legs of the tour.”