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Wallabies wait on Cooper, Mitchell scans
Ed Jackson
17:01 AEST Mon Aug 27 2012

Australia's Rugby Championship injury woes are set to deepen further when scan results on backs Quade Cooper and Drew Mitchell determine their availability for the September 8 clash with South Africa in Perth.

Mitchell, who injured his troublesome right ankle in Saturday night's crushing 22-0 Bledisloe Cup Test loss to New Zealand in Auckland, will undergo an ultrasound on Tuesday after initial scans on Monday were inconclusive but is highly unlikely to feature against the Springboks.

The NSW winger, who left New Zealand with his right leg in a moonboot, has only just returned to the Wallabies set-up following an 18-month injury battle and could miss all of Australia's remaining matches depending on the severity of his injury.

Mitchell is just the latest Australia winger to suffer an injury with Joseph Tomane and Cooper Vuna already ruled out, meaning Western Force flier Nick Cummins could be in line to make his debut in Perth.

Queensland Red Dom Shipperley is another option for under-pressure coach Robbie Deans if Mitchell is ruled out.

Five-eighth Cooper will undergo scans on his reconstructed right knee after aggravating the joint in the Eden Park Test.

The New Zealand-born No.10 remained in Auckland after the Test, returning to Brisbane on Monday morning.

He will undergo precautionary scans on Tuesday to determine what, if any, damage has been done.

Deans will be hopeful Cooper's results are positive with the Wallabies stocks being tested to the limit after several key injuries.

Among those already ruled out of the Perth Test are David Pocock, James Horwill, James O'Connor, Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCabe and Ben McCalman.

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, whose buttock injury ruled him out of last Saturday's Test against the All Blacks, is hopeful of lining up against the Springboks as the Wallabies aim to get their first points in the Rugby Championship.


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