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Pocock pulled from England clash with neck injury after being named in starting line-up

Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper have also been dropped by coaching staff for breaching team protocols.

David Pocock will not feature for Australia this Saturday.
David Pocock will not feature for Australia this Saturday.
Image: David Davies

AUSTRALIA BACK-ROW David Pocock has been ruled out of Saturday’s international against England, just over a day before the Cook Cup clash at Twickenham.

Pocock was in at No. 8 when Wallaby head coach Michael Cheika named his side on Thursday even though the loose forward was struggling with a neck injury suffered during last week’s 26-7 win away to Italy.

But a further fitness test on Friday saw Pocock sidelined, a team spokesman confirmed to travelling Australian media.

Australia have yet to announce who will replace Pocock, although Pete Samu is the likeliest contender to take his place.

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP AUSTRALIA ARGENTINA Pete Samu remains a danger for England. Source: AAP/PA Images

England scrum coach Neal Hatley, speaking before Pocock was ruled out told reporters at Twickenham on Friday: “He’s got double the turnovers of any other stealer in tier one this year. A hell of a good player.

But they’ve got Michael Hooper and other people, [Tatafu] Polota-Nau, who jackal the ball.”

Australia will also be without the Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper who have been dropped by coaching staff.

A spokesperson for the team confirmed that two women – including Ashley-Cooper’s sister-in-law – were in their hotel room on the eve of the defeat to Wales. 

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Saturday’s match will be the final Test of 2018 for both England, coached by former Australia boss Eddie Jones, and the Wallabies.

Victory this weekend would mean Jones had won all six of his Test against his native Australia since taking charge of England following the 2015 World Cup debacle — when a defeat by eventual finalists Australia condemned the tournament hosts to a first-round exit.

© – AFP 2018

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