Waratahs number eight Wycliff Palu may miss Saturday's clash with the Bulls as he mourns his father, who passed away last week.
Powerhouse Waratahs number eight Wycliff Palu may miss this weekend's clash with the Bulls as he mourns his father, who passed away last week.
The 'Tahs will look to bounce back from Saturday's surprise loss to the high-flying Force in Perth with victory over Frans Ludeke's men, who travel to Sydney this Saturday.
But they may be minus the services of the Wallaby back-row, who has enjoyed an excellent Super Rugby season to date – the Waratahs management revealed that his absence from the Perth clash was due to the bereavement, not injury as previously announced.
Palu did not train on Tuesday, with teammate Sekope Kepu admitting that he is a big loss from the lineup when not playing.
The prop and other Polynesian members of the 'Tahs squad are set to visit Palu and his family as part of a traditional ritual.
“We are emotional people and he is very close to his father, hence why he spent the last few years living with his 'olds' [parents] … to help out,” Kepu told Fairfax.
''He has felt the impact but he is holding himself together strong, and a few of us boys are going to head out tonight and do a traditional token of respect and show our love to him and his family.
“There are moments in the game that he can change, [with] big runs or [when he] flattens or turns the mental attitude, or weakens the opposition.
“But again, we have Will [Skelton], who has come in and he has done a really good job in the second row and allows 'Potsy' [Jacques Potgieter] to have a bit of a break on the side of the scrum from the pushing.”
“[Palu] is severely missed, but we have ability and depth, and if you can't do that as a team you are not going to win the competition.”