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Zimbabwe-born Godwin makes Wallabies squad

by Sports reporter
28 Aug 2014 at 06:56hrs | Views
Kyle Godwin - Photo:
Western Force's Zimbabwean-born Kyle Godwin has been added to the Wallabies' squad in the absence of Pat McCabe, who is set to retire from rugby after suffering another fracture of his neck.

McCabe injured his neck in the Wallabies' 51-20 defeat to New Zealand at Eden Park last Saturday, with scans earlier this week confirming he had sustained what is a third fracture in the past two years.

The 24-Test veteran is expected to announce his retirement later this week.

The uncapped Godwin has been drafted into the Wallabies' squad ahead of their September 6 Test against South Africa in his home town of Perth.

The Wallabies will also be without injured hooker Nathan Charles (pectoral) for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, with Tatafu Polota-Nau re-joining the squad.

But Polota-Nau, who missed the opening two Bledisloe Cup Tests because of a knee injury, will not be ready for the Springboks encounter as he continues his rehabilitation.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie says Godwin deserves his selection after injury had previously robbed the 22-year-old of a call-up to the national squad.

"Kyle is someone who has been on the national radar for some time, but unfortunately hasn't had much of an opportunity to join the Wallabies environment due to injury," he said in a statement.

"He now gets his chance to join the squad, and we'll look forward to learning more about him."

Showing how highly he is regarded, centre Godwin is only due to make his return from injury this weekend for Perth Spirit in the National Rugby Championship.

McKenzie says the Wallabies had already turned their focus to facing the Springboks following the humiliating loss to the All Blacks last weekend.

"We don't hide from the fact that our performance against New Zealand was well below our own expectations, which was especially disappointing considering the momentum we had created since last year's Spring Tour," he said.

"We'll address that and then get on with preparing for what will be a very tough battle against South Africa next Saturday night."

McKenzie has pruned his original squad of 32 by cutting prop Paddy Ryan and winger Tom English.

Dynamic Brumbies flyers Joe Tomane and Henry Speight were left out as they struggle to recover from hamstring problems, while half-back Will Genia is yet to be cleared following ankle surgery.

Wallabies squad:
Backs - Israel Folau, Peter Betham, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Kyle Godwin, Christian Leali'ifano, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Nic White, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess
Forwards - Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (c), Matt Hodgson, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Sam Carter, Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, James Slipper, Pek Cowan, James Hanson, Saia Fainga'a, Tatafu Polota-Nau

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