Rugby: Hooker vows pride will lift Australia

Tatafu Polota-Nau. Photo / Getty Images
Tatafu Polota-Nau. Photo / Getty Images

Tatafu Polota-NauWallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says pride in the gold jumper will ensure the battered Australian troops lift for their final Rugby Championship test against Argentina.

The Wallabies suffered a shocking injury toll in their 31-8 loss to South Africa - the worst being Berrick Barnes, who was left behind with the team doctor in Johannesburg with a punctured lung.

Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper flew home to Sydney after being knocked out cold in the match.

Loose forward Radike Samo (shoulder) and winger Digby Ioane (knee) travelled with the team but are also in doubt.

Reds back Luke Morahan and Melbourne Rebels lock Cadeyrn Neville will join the squad for the Rosario test in central Argentina, although Morahan could be delayed with visa issues.

Polota-Nau was unable to turn his head the day after the game because of neck and back soreness but believed he would recover in time to take on the Pumas, who will be looking to rebound from a 54-15 loss to New Zealand.

The Waratahs rake said the way his team-mates never gave up when they were down on numbers and a hiding was in the offing was an inspiration.

"What inspires me to play alongside those guys is just the character they showed for the whole 80 minutes," he said.

He said they will need to call on that pride and courage in Argentina.

"There's nothing more honourable than to put the gold jersey on," Polota-Nau said.

Australia were forced to come from behind to post a 23-19 win over Argentina in their test on the Gold Coast and Polota-Nau said beating the proud Pumas on their home turf was a massive challenge.

The 27-year-old didn't believe there were any issues with the Wallabies' injury management or training loads despite the list of injured players climbing to more than two dozen. "It's definitely just bad luck. You can't fault the medical staff."

- AAP

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