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Wallabies out of 'Tahs Super Rugby clash

NZN 3/03/2017

Wallabies Nick Phipps and Will Skelton have been ruled out of the NSW Waratahs' Super Rugby clash with the Lions in Johannesburg due to injury.

Scrum half Phipps rolled his ankle at training and Skelton has suffered a minor hamstring strain, with both to miss the round two clash early on Sunday morning (AEDT).

Matt Lucas will start in the No.9 jumper in Phipps's absence and Jake Gordon has been promoted to the bench.

Senio Toleafoa has replaced Skelton in the run-on side at lock and Maclean Jones is in line to make his Waratahs debut off the bench.

Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson said the last-minute changes weren't ideal, but was confident in the replacements at his disposal.

"We have three Super Rugby quality half backs to choose from and Matt has the experience in that starting position," Gibson said.

"Toleafoa has been preparing well with the squad and he comes off a strong 2016 season with the NRC (National Rugby Championship). It's now their time to step up and have a crack."

Gibson added that Phipps and Skelton's injuries weren't expected to sideline them for long and he hoped to know early next week whether they will take to the field for round three against the Sharks in Durban.

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