The Rugby Championship
An annual competition involving the southern hemisphere’s top four rugby-playing nations – New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina. Known as the Tri Nations from 1996 to 2012, when the Pumas were invited to join the party.
Wallabies' Will Genia hit by 'captain's curse' as injury forces him out
Australia praised for fighting spirit in win over Boks but loss of third captain is blow
The Wallabies passed a test of character with their first win in the Rugby Championship at the weekend, but are suffering from “captain’s curse” with Will Genia out for six months.
Australia came from behind to win the test against the Springboks in Perth on Saturday 26-19, a welcome return to winning ways after their embarrassing 22-0 loss to New Zealand in Auckland a fortnight ago.
But the win came at a cost, when Genia became Australia’s third successive test skipper to suffer an injury that keeps him out for a prolonged period. Genia ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Genia was standing in as leader for David Pocock, who is out with a knee injury following the Wallabies’ first Rugby Championship test against the Kiwis.
Pocock had replaced first-choice captain James Horwill, who was sidelined during the Super Rugby season with a hamstring injury.
“Wanted: Fit captain and a halfback ready to hit the ground running,” ran the headline in the tabloid Daily Telegraph.
“Character was the key word for the Wallabies in their preparation against the Boks, particularly after the public backlash to players smiling with the All Blacks on the field after losing in Auckland,” the paper said.
The Sydney Morning Herald headline agreed: “Wallabies pass important test of character”, it said.
But reports said coach Robbie Deans would be in no rush to name a replacement skipper for fear it will further “jinx” a team already hard hit by injury. “I don’t think we will have a formal leader any more,” Deans said.
The Wallabies play Argentina on the Gold Coast on Saturday.