Sat, Jun 14, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Ireland lose David Wallace for Wallabies Test

AFP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Ireland have lost British and Irish Lions openside flanker David Wallace for their rugby Test with Australia today.

Interim coach Michael Bradley said the 31-year-old Munster backrower could not recover in time from a calf muscle strain.

Leinster’s Shane Jennings gets his chance as Wallace’s replacement with Stephen Ferris coming on to the reserves bench.

“David has had a very good season with Munster and Ireland. He played very well last week against the All Blacks, so he will be missed, I suspect, tomorrow,” Bradley said yesterday.

Ireland are coming to the end of a demanding 13-Test season that encompassed their disappointing early exit at last year’s World Cup in France.

Bradley said the coaching staff had been monitoring the Irish players for fatigue and he does not believe it will be an issue against the fresher Wallabies.

“We are very mindful that it is coming to the end of a long season and the coaching staff has curtailed the nature of the sessions,” Bradley said.

“We have still got the quality in the sessions and the players have done what they have needed to do. We are monitoring the players and the mood is very positive within the camp and we are looking forward to giving a good account of ourselves on Saturday,” he said.

Skipper Brian O’Driscoll is looking for his team to finish their season on the upswing.

“Internationally, we have struggled a bit. We haven’t really put together a big 80-minute performance in the 07-08 season, so it would be nice to finish on a high like that,” O’Driscoll said.

“And maybe we need to put a little pressure on ourselves to do that, and not play for 60, 65 minutes and accept a 10-point defeat like Irish sides of old maybe,” he said.

“[We need to] play for the full 80 and expect to win it. I think that’s something I’ll be saying to the boys. If we play well, we’re a bloody hard side to beat. Even two years ago, we scored some fantastic tries but only 60, 65 minutes worth. You can’t get away with that against teams like Australia,” O’Driscoll said.

Ireland have not won for eight matches in Australia since their 9-3 win over the Wallabies in Sydney in 1979.

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