Rugby union: Injury sends Quinnell home again

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The Independent Online
GERAINT LEWIS, the Pontypridd flanker, has been called up by Wales to replace Scott Quinnell, who is returning home with a calf injury.

A scan revealed a muscle problem that requires 10 days rest to heal, which would not give him enough time to prepare for the Test match against world champions South Africa on 27 June.

The injury is a huge blow to the Richmond No 8, who also had to return home almost a year ago to the day from the Lions tour in South Africa with a groin injury.

He said: "I am very disappointed. I'd worked hard on making myself ready for this tour and felt things went well against Zimbabwe. I was ready to make up for the Lions tour by showing what I could do. Now that chance has gone."

He picked up the injury in training and is the 20th player to be ruled out and the second to be sent home following the Swansea full-back David Weatherley, who returned this week with knee trouble.

English rugby has been given a further verbal rap by the outspoken managing director of Australian Rugby, John O'Neill.

Speaking in Sydney yesterday on the eve of the first Test between Australia and Scotland, he said: "English clubs should not break the International Rugby Football Board's regulations vis-a-vis player availability for international rugby."

"How many times can you say the same thing," added O'Neill, who again accused English clubs of coercing a number of players (from both England and Scotland) not to go on tour.

"We have to keep up constant pressure on England. The primacy of international rugby has to be recognised," O'Neill said. "We certainly got the opportunity last weekend to make the point."

Australia's coach, Rod Macqueen, admits that the Scotland side his Wallaby team will face today in Sydney is different from the one Australia beat last November.

"We don't have any intelligence on them from the Five Nations' Championship. What we do know is that they have improved in every game on tour. I thought that their game against New South Wales last Saturday was well thought out," Macqueen said.

"The Scots are playing a very exciting style of football. We were impressed by their pick up and drive game and the way they shipped the ball out wide. We're aware of that. But we also know that tackling is a very important part of the game.

"We are expecting this to be a much tougher game than against England. The Scots now have four games under their belt since they arrived here. Moreover a team with Wainwright in the forwards and Townsend in the backs has to be respected.

For the Wallaby flanker David Wilson, the Test match mark's his 50th appearance for Australia.