Australia plan for possible Hodge absence against Wales

Reece Hodge of Australia kicks a conversion during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group D game between Australia and Fiji at Sapporo Dome on September 21, 2019 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.
Reece Hodge of Australia kicks a conversion during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group D game between Australia and Fiji at Sapporo Dome on September 21, 2019 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.
Image: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australia are preparing to deal with the possible absence of Reece Hodge for their match against Wales, as the goal-kicking winger faces a disciplinary committee Wednesday for a high tackle against Fiji.

Fiji were leading 11-7 when Hodge charged into Peceli Yato, leaving the Fiji flanker concussed. The Wallabies wing went on to score a try and kick a penalty as Australia won 39-21.

Hodge was cited after the match and will go before an independent disciplinary committee later Wednesday which could impose a ban.

Assistant coach Nathan Grey said the Australian management were "pretty confident the judicial system will look after itself".

"We'll have to deal with that whatever the outcome is," Grey added.

"You'd be crazy as a management not to manage both ways, so whether he's there or not, we'll be ready to go."

Full-back Kurtley Beale said he was "confident Reece will have a fair hearing", adding that the players had not discussed it.

"As a player, you want your teammate to play. I think Reece has done a fantastic job on the wing.

"To his credit, he really threw himself into those tackles. He's got no malice in trying to go out there and do wrongdoing."

Hodge's potential absence, Beale said, would be more than made up by Dane Haylett-Petty, who enjoyed an eye-catching cameo against Fiji off the bench.

"We're confident as a back three, whoever's in those positions, we will get the job done," Beale said.

- AFP

 

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