Wallabies to use Samo out wide
September 28, 2011
Radike Samo scored a try after being switched to the wing during the Wallabies' win over the US © Getty Images
The injury-ravaged Wallabies are poised to start No.8 Radike Samo on the wing in their final Rugby World Cup Pool C outing, against Russia on Sunday.
Australia routed the United States last week to edge closer to the quarter-finals but the victory came at a heavy price, with centre Robert Horne (fractured cheekbone), Pat McCabe (dislocated shoulder), back-row Wycliff Palu ( hamstring ), centre Anthony Faingaa (concussion), fullback Kurtley Beale picking up injuries which saw them join the already crocked flankers Scott Higginbotham and David Pocock (both back), winger James O'Connor (hamstring) and Digby Ioane (fractured thumb) in the Wallabies' overcrowded treatment room.
With the Aussies now down to the bare bones for Sunday's meeting with the Russians, head coach Robbie Deans is considering redeploying Samo on the wing. Certainly, the Fijian-born forward, who showed off his blistering pace in scoring a stunning try against the All Blacks last month, is not against the idea, having dotted after being moved out wide in the closing stages of the win over the Eagles.
"I'd rather stick in the forwards and do what I normally do in the forwards but, if it happens, I'll enjoy that," he said.
Given how short Deans is on numbers it has been claimed that he is willing to start Faingaa, who is recovering well from his heavy blow to the head. However, the former Crusaders boss insists that he will not take any chances with the midfielder's health.
"That will obviously be resolved during the week, and it's not something that we'll be pushing," he said. "We would never put a player at risk."
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