Injured Australian Pocock out of England game

Pocock missed Wallabies training on Monday and Tuesday and has fallen short of the starting line-up
England v Australia
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 24 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live with BBC Two highlights at 19:30 GMT

Australia back-row forward David Pocock has withdrawn from Saturday’s Test against England with a neck injury.

The 30-year-old number eight failed a fitness test on Friday after initially being named in coach Michael Cheika’s starting XV on Thursday.

Cheika had said that Pocock was “desperate to play” at Twickenham but insisted that the Wallabies would not risk his long-term health.

Peter Samu is set to be promoted off the bench to fill in at number eight.

A similar injury kept Pocock out of Australia’s win over South Africa in Brisbane in September and he aggravated the problem in the victory over Italy last weekend.

Cheika revealed on Thursday that he had submitted evidence to World Rugby, hoping to get more protection for Pocock at the breakdown.

“The guy is getting a lot of knocks in that area,” Cheika told BBC Sport on Thursday.

“So the choice is either don’t put your head in there, or keep putting your head in there and just wear it. But we will look after him.”

Pocock has won 76 caps for Australia since making his debut in 2008.

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