Pocock out of the England series

Date published: June 12 2016

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Wallabies flanker David Pocock will miss the rest of the England series, ruled out with a fractured eye socket.

He was taken off late in Australia's 39-28 loss to England under the blood rule before the injury was confirmed after the match.

The longer-term prognosis is still unknown, with medical staff waiting for the swelling on the injury to go down.

Pocock will remain in Brisbane while the rest of the squad moves south to Melbourne ahead of the crucial second Test.

His loss is a major blow to the side, that was already going into the second Test week with some injury concerns, after lock Rob Simmons suffered a back injury as well.

Pocock's injury potentially opens the door for Ben McCalman or veteran number eight Wycliff Palu to step into the Wallabies starting side, in what would be a move back to the more traditional backrow structure.

Australia head coach Michael Cheika said he was exploring his options when it came to the backrow structure, even throwing Liam Gill's name into the mix as a possible replacement for Pocock, despite being out of the official 33-man squad for the series.

"We’ll just see how we pan out,” Cheika told the official Australia website.

“We got final confirmation this morning so we’re just waiting to see how the day pans out around what we might take into next week’s game.

"We’ve got the option of sticking with what we’ve got or if we want to bring in a like for like, go for Liam Gill.

"There’s Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, there’s options there that have experience in the front line so we’re fortunate but at the same time, disappointed.

"(We lose) the dynamic we have in the backrow with himself, Michael and Scott and (have to decide whether) to create a different type of complementary nature or go like for like."

While the 28-year-old loose forward's series is over, he will still have a chance to feature for the Wallabies before taking a one-season sabbatical in 2017, with the Rugby Champioship and Bledisloe Cup Tests on the horizon after Super Rugby season.

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