Itoje, Underhill out of England squad for decisive 3rd test

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SYDNEY (AP) — Lock Maro Itoje and flanker Sam Underhill have been withdrawn from England’s squad for the series-deciding rugby test against Australia after sustaining concussions in last Saturday’s 25-17 win in Brisbane.

England’s Rugby Football Union on Monday confirmed both players would miss the third test and no replacements would be called into the squad.

Itoje was injured making a tackle on Wallabies center Hunter Paisami just before halftime and Underhill was replaced midway through the second half after attempting a tackle on winger Marika Koroibete.

England coach Eddie Jones said immediately after the series-leveling win that Itoje had been ruled out but that Underhill was still undergoing a head injury assessment.

Australia, which won the first test 30-28 in Perth, is also struggling with injuries.

The Wallabies lost Jordan Petaia to concussion in the third minute, replacement back Izaia Perese and lock Caderyn Neville with knee injuries in the second half and replacement prop Scott Sio with a shoulder problem.

With Darcy Swain banned for the second and third tests after receiving a red card in the series-opening match, and Neville joining Jed Holloway and Ned Hanigan on the injured list, Australia is testing its depth in the second row.

Versatile backrower Lukhan Salakaia-Loto has been drafted into the Australia squad. The Northampton-bound Salakaia-Loto played the last of his 30 tests in August last year.


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