Genia and Ioane ruled out of Brisbane showdown

IRELAND’S hopes of a first win in Australia since 1967 grew significantly yesterday when two of the Wallabies most potent offensive weapons were ruled out of Saturday’s clash in Brisbane.

Scrum half Will Genia – one of the most in-form players in the game – and winger Digby Ioane, both of whom starred for the Queensland Reds in the Super 14 season, have been struck down by injuries, leaving Wallabies coach Robbie Deans with a major headache.

Ioane was forced off in Saturday’s defeat to England in Sydney and it was confirmed yesterday that he is facing shoulder reconstruction which could keep him out for four months.

It also emerged that half-back Genia, who many had earmarked as a possible contender to oust Rocky Elsom as national team skipper, will miss the game at the Suncorp Stadium after breaking a bone in his hand in the 21-20 loss to Martin Johnson’s side.

Luke Burgess is certain to replace the Reds’ skipper while Deans has a number of options for reshuffling the backline in the wake of the loss of Ioane.

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