Wales captain Sam Warburton will not play against Australia this weekend after injuring his neck.
The flanker has been released back to Cardiff Blues to get game-time under his belt after suffering a neck injury – ruling him out of Saturday’s game against the Wallabies. Warburton has not played since suffering a fractured cheekbone against Leinster a month ago.
Warburton is now set to feature for the Blues in the PRO12 at Treviso on Friday and a decision on who will captain Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday will be made later in the week.
Wales hope to have Warburton back for the other remaining games of the autumn series against Argentina, Japan and South Africa.
But Justin Tipuric is expected to replace the Wales skipper in the back-row to face Australia and defence coach Shaun Edwards praised the 43-cap flanker for his current form with the Ospreys.
“Sam is going back to the (Cardiff) Blues to get some game time under his belt,” Edwards told Reuters.
“Obviously he hasn’t had much game time. We’re very fortunate to have someone like Tips (Justin Tipuric), who has been playing well. Sam’s our captain but we’ll play as well as we can without him.”
Tipuric could take Warburton’s place, while lock Alun Wyn Jones is likely to captain the side.
“I’m a big fan of Justin Tipuric,” Edwards said.
“His form in attack and defence has been superb. He’s got 100 percent tackle completion.”