‘Don’t worry’: Mystery over Wallaby star’s injury

The Wallabies coaching staff moved quickly to play down injury concerns over prop Taniela Tupou as they prepare for a Fiji outfit set to treat their upcoming World Cup clash as a “final”.

Tupou, one of the stars in Australia’s 35-15 weekend win over Georgia to open the tournament, didn’t train with the Wallabies on Wednesday and will be monitored in the next few days before a decision is made on whether he plays against Fiji on Monday morning Australian time.

“Taniela is on the sideline at the moment, he has got a bit of a hamstring complaint but we‘re just going to monitor him and just see how he goes over the next couple of days,“ assistant coach Jason Ryles told reporters.

“He didn’t train today but that’s not unusual for Taniela, don’t worry.”

Tupou hasn’t been ruled out yet with former co-captain James Slipper also in line for a possible call-up after overcoming a foot issue.

Despite breaking their 2023 winning drought against Georgia, the Australians are on high alert for their clash with Fiji.

Following their first-up 32-26 loss to Wales, the Fijians can’t afford another defeat when they meet the Australians in a Group C clash on Monday morning (AEST) in Saint-Etienne.

“Australia is our final now” Fiji’s assistant coach Daryl Gibson told The Fiji Times.

“We know that we need to beat Australia to stay in the competition. That’s a pretty simple formula.

“We’ve proven we can compete against Tier 1 nations and we proved that against Wales.

“We have a big task, but it’s not over. Nothing is impossible.”

The Fijians will know what to expect from a Jones-coached team, with their coach Simon Raiwalui have been guided by the Wallabies mentor at Saracens.

“He was one of the best coaches in the world technically, so I’m sure he will come up with some game plan to play against us,” Raiwalui said.

“We’re going to have to execute, we’re going to have to play our game plan, we’re going to have to do it to our best abilities.

“We’ve just got to play our style and try to impose that against a very good team.”

Springboks great Jean de Villiers said the Fijians were capable of beating the Wallabies.

“It’s doable,” the 2007 World Cup winner said on the Boks Office podcast.

“I think for Australia, and probably for world rugby, it was good to see Australia getting their first win under Eddie again.

“That will build their confidence, (but) I am still not convinced they will be title contenders and even against Georgia, Georgia put up a decent fight.

“We know what the Fijians can do. If you can put them under pressure at scrum time and set phases, (that will be key). It will be a good game. It’ll be a competitive game.”

Originally published as Taniela Tupou in doubt for Fiji clash with a hamstring issue

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