Tomane injured, Vuna likely for Wallabies

JIM MORTON
Last updated 19:32 07/06/2012

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Former Newcastle Knight Cooper Vuna will become the latest league convert to make his Wallabies debut after a training injury ruled Joe Tomane out of Saturday night's clash with Wales.

Fellow code-switcher Tomane was rushed to hospital for scans during Thursday afternoon's training session after hurting his left ankle at Ballymore.

The scans revealed he had suffered a syndesmosis injury and is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

It ends a miserable week for the tackle-busting Brumbies flyer who made his international debut in Tuesday's shock 9-6 loss to Scotland.

Tomane, who switched codes after stints with Melbourne and Gold Coast in the NRL, had limited opportunities in the wet against the Scots but showed great pace to save a try and good signs of his potential.

"We thought he did very well in his first outing," coach Robbie Deans said before Tomane's injury struck.

"He made a lot of constructive contributions. He showed the capability he has in terms of speed and strength and evasiveness, and he's accurate.

"We see a bright future for Joe."

After struggling in defence in his debut season with the Melbourne Rebels last year, Vuna has been in strong try-scoring Super Rugby form and will join fellow New Zealand-born winger Digby Ioane in the backline.

Vuna, who will become the 860th player to represent the Wallabies, ran on the right wing with the starting side in training after Tomane's injury.

The injury news follows a disappointing medical report for Western Force No.8 Ben McCalman who has been omitted from Australia's squad as he will undergo shoulder surgery and is expected to miss at least the next two months of rugby, if not the rest of the season.

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