The injury-riddled Wallabies have been hit with yet another setback ahead of Sunday’s Test (12am AEDT kick-off) against Italy in Florence, with starting lockout Nick Frost scrambling late on game night.
Frost already suffered a minor ankle injury from the heartbreaking loss to France in Paris and then contracted a stomach flu that forced him out of the game at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The 23-year-old Brumbies star has been replaced in the run-on XV by club-mate Darcy Swain, who is making his Test return after a six-match suspension.
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Another Brumbies second rower, Cadeyrn Neville, takes the bench after originally getting a breather.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported: that fullback Jock Campbell was hesitant before the game because he also has a stomach flu.
Jordan Petaia, who was named on the bench, is an option to wear number 15 if Campbell is ruled out.
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The Wallabies – who have been battling a horrific injury all season – are already without first-choice fullback Tom Banks, who was injured in the win over Scotland in Edinburgh.
“He has a bit of a floppy ankle,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
“We thought it would be okay now. It looks like he won’t even be suitable for Ireland (on 20 November AEDT), so we have to make some decisions there.”
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Rennie said the demanding schedule prompted an overhaul of the starting XV.
“We always knew that a grueling tour of five tests at the end of the year would require a full team effort.
“We made nine changes after the win over Scotland and a similar number planned for Italy, but injuries increased that by a few.”
WALLABIES (15-1): Jock Campbell, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Jake Gordon, Pete Samu, Fraser McReight, Ned Hanigan, Will Skelton, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Folau Fainga’a, Matt Gibbon
Reservations: Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Cadeyrn Neville, Langi Gleeson, Tate McDermott, Ben Donaldson, Jordan Petaia
ITALY (15-1): Ange Capuozzo, Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney, Lorenzo Cannone, Michele Lamaro (c), Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Simone Ferrari, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Danilo Fisichetti
Reservations: Giacomo Nicotera, Ivan Nemer, Pietro Ceccarelli, David Sisi, Toa Halafihi, Alessandro Garbisi, Tommaso Allan, Tommaso Menoncello
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