Wallabies utility back Matt Giteau will miss his team's clash with Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday due to a sternum injury.
Precautionary scans on his nose and chest yesterday cleared Giteau of any serious damage, after he sustained his injuries in the 24-20 victory over South Africa in Brisbane at the weekend, but the Wallaby management have opted to rest the 32-year old for the next stage of the tournament.
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika said although Giteau's absence was a setback to the team, it would be better for him to rest after a tough Test against the Springboks.
“I know how desperate Matthew was to play and continue to contribute to this group over the next week, his leadership and presence off the field will be missed,” Cheika told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.
“He’s one of the toughest members in the squad and we all witnessed during the match just how passionate Matthew is about representing his country again.”
“It’s disappointing to lose him for this round, however knowing he will be right to go for the Bledisloe series is reassuring for the group and our fans.”
“In the end, the decision sits with me. It’s going to be a big year for Gits and to send him over to Mendoza after a very physical test as well as a tight turnaround, just isn’t fair on him or the group."
The exclusion of Giteau from the 31-man squad to Mendoza makes way for the return of Brumbies playmaker Christian Lealiifano.
Lealiifano returns to squad after being used as an additional training squad member in the lead-up to the Springboks Test.
“It was a difficult call to leave Christian out of the original 31-man Test squad in the first place, and the way he handled himself at the time and during the past two weeks has been first class," added Cheika.
“For the Wallabies to be successful, we need to have the belief that our depth can cover each position and I have that confidence in Christian if he’s called upon for this weekend’s match.”
Australia squad (revised):
Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Reds), Nick Cummins (Force), Tetera Faulkner (Force), Scott Fardy (Brumbies), Israel Folau (Waratahs), Bernard Foley (Waratahs), James Hanson (Reds), Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), Greg Holmes (Reds), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), James Horwill (Reds), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), Stephen Moore – Captain (Brumbies), Drew Mitchell (Toulon), Ben McCalman (Force), Sean McMahon (Rebels), Dean Mumm (Waratahs), Nick Phipps (Waratahs), David Pocock (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), Scott Sio (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Reds), Will Skelton (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Matt Toomua (Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies), Nic White (Brumbies).