Nathan Charles played a full 80 minutes in the first Test against New Zealand. Photo: SMH
One injured Wallabies rake has been replaced with another as the Wallabies struggle to cope with their growing hooker crisis.
Australian coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to select between his fourth-string and sixth-string hookers to start against South Africa next week after losing Nathan Charles for the season.
Charles suffered a pectoral tear in last weekend’s 51-20 Eden Park thrashing by the All Blacks to join Stephen Moore (knee reconstruction) and Tolu Latu (broken arm) in rehab for the rest of 2014.
Nathan Charles charges down field for the Force in Super Rugby.
Inspirational Wallabies hooker Nathan Charles says a run-on Test debut against the All Blacks would have only featured in his “wildest dreams” just nine months ago.
As if taking 28 tablets a day to manage his cystic fibrosis wasn’t enough, Charles had to fight just to start this year’s Super Rugby season after undergoing a knee reconstruction for a busted ACL last year.
But a stellar season at the Western Force, combined with knee injuries to Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau, means Charles is the man most likely to don the No.2 jersey for the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney on August 16.
“Nine months ago, I was still coming back from a knee reconstruction. So this is my wildest dreams,” Charles said.