SYDNEY : Australia have called inexperienced hooker Billy Pollard into their squad for their first two matches in the Rugby Championship against Argentina after Dave Porecki suffered a concussion in training.
The 20-year-old will fly to Argentina as cover while Porecki, who started all three tests against England in July, goes through the 12-day protocol obligatory for players who sustain serious head knocks.
Porecki’s absence means a likely start for Folau Fainga’a in Saturday’s first test against the Pumas in Mendoza with Lachlan Lonergan backing up from the bench.
Pollard enjoyed a breakout season with the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby this year and played seven matches despite being behind three Wallabies hookers in the pecking order at the Canberra-based side.
The target of National Rugby League (NRL) clubs before choosing the 15-man game, Pollard started two matches for the Australia “A” team in the Pacific Nations Cup last month.
Australia coach Dave Rennie, who has had to deal with a lengthy injury list this season, will name his team for Saturday’s test later on Thursday.