Marika Koroibete withdraws from Spring Wallabies tour for family reasons
Marika Koroibete has withdrawn from the Spring Wallabies tour for personal reasons.
David Rennie has confirmed that Koroibete will not be participating in upcoming trips to Japan and the UK as he returns home to Australia to spend more time with his family as his partner recently gave birth to their third child.
“Marika has chosen not to tour,” Rennie said ahead of next Saturday’s test against Japan.
“We’ve been discussing this for a while. Obviously we let him go home a week earlier during the Rugby Championship.
“COVID threw a lot of curve balls at all of us. Marika has been away from home for a long time, [wife] Emma is quite isolated; they had a newborn baby and they have a few other young boys.
With a transfer imminent to the Japanese team Panasonic Wild Knights next year, it could mean that Koroibete played his last game in green and gold for a while, if the Giteau law for overseas-based players were reintroduced. .
One of Rennie’s most notable performers this year, the spring tour could provide a glimpse into the depth of the Wallabies’ bottom line.
Koroibete did not take part in the Wallabies’ latest victory over Argentina in the rugby championship, which saw Rennie take on 21-year-old prodigy Jordan Petaia on the wing.
Rennie said that while the loss of Koroibete, the 2019 John Eales medal winner, is a big blow, it will allow the Wallabies coach to take a look at the depth of his bottom line two years from the World Cup.
“As always, this is an opportunity, isn’t it? Marika did not play the last match [against Argentina]. Jordie [Petaia] started it gave Tom Wright a sniff off the bench which played really well, ”said Rennie.
“Marika is an amazing player, a huge work ethic and physique, shoes so big to feel. But we think… it’s a position that we have a little bit of depth in.
In addition to Koroibete’s omission, rower Sean McMahon has left the squad bubble for family reasons, while Samu Kerevi suffers from an ankle injury which will likely see him ruled out against the Brave Blossoms.
Rising pillar Pone Fa’amausili will also be out against Japan due to lingering calf and hamstring complications, Rennie confirmed.
Rennie said his team expected a tough meeting with Japan, whose high-octane style of play has caused the Wallabies problems in the past.
“The bottom line is we have to try to stop their set piece. They will have innovative lineup and scrum games, we have to make that source of the ball difficult for them, “added Rennie.
“We’re going to have to do a good job around the quality of our defense and slow down their ball to have a wall in front of them. We have a plan on how we are to play against these guys.
“We’re playing in a stadium that has a roof, so we should have a fast track and two teams that both want to play. It should be a belt.