Australia will be minus two more frontline players – Stirling Mortlock and Bill Young – for their tour of Europe in November..
Stirling Mortlock on the attack against Ireland in 2002..
Australia will be minus two more frontline players – Stirling Mortlock and Bill Young – for their tour of Europe in November.
Both will be rested for the Wallabies tour, which sees them take on the French Barbarians on November 1 followed by Test matches against France, England, Ireland and Wales.
A calf injury has KO’ed Sydney-born centre Mortlock, who missed Australia’s final two games of the 2005 Tri-Nations. The 28-year-old’s only appearance against Ireland came back in November 2002 when Eddie O’Sullivan’s side won out 18-9 at Lansdowne Road.
Veteran prop Young, capped 45 times as Australia’s number 1, played in all nine of the Wallabies’ tests in 2005 so far, but a groin injury has ruled the ACT Brumbies star out of the tour.
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said: “We named a training squad of 45, and we were always going to have a look at each player separately and whether or not it is in their best interest to tour,” said Jones.
“Bill has played more than 550 minutes of Test rugby already this season, and with a groin injury as the start of the year, he didn’t really get a good off-season.
“He needs a break from playing, and the chance to work on an extensive strength and conditioning programme leading into next year,” he added.
“Stirling is a slightly different proposition, missing four Super 12 matches through injury and three Tests. The break will also give him the opportunity to work hard on his strength and speed.”
Australia play Ireland on Saturday, November 19, at Lansdowne Road (kick-off 2.30pm). It will be the sides’ fourteenth meeting in Dublin since 1927 – the Wallabies boast nine wins. 2002’s success – Ireland’s fourth – was the men in green’s first against the Antipodean visitors since 1968.