Australia’s preparations for the three test series against the British and Irish Lions have been dealt a huge blow as it was confirmed that lock Sitaleki Timani and back-rower Scott Higginbotham have both suffered serious injuries.
Timani, who is aged 26 and has 10 caps for the Wallabies, suffered a broken thumb playing for his franchise, the Waratahs. He requires surgery and will definitely miss the series with the Lions.
The ARU has also confirmed that Scott Higginbotham, who can play both blindside flanker and no.8, has undergone scans after dislocating his shoulder in action for this new province, the Melbourne Rebels. He has returned to Brisbane from the Wallabies’ training camp, where he will continue to be monitored.
For now, the Australians have called up Waratahs second row Kane Douglas and Western Force back-rower Ben McCalman as cover. The Aussie squad is currently 25-men strong, with the final group of 31 to be confirmed by head coach Robbie Deans later this month.