/ 18 November 2006

Wallaby Cannon not ready to fire

Two-time world champions Australia were hit late on Friday by the withdrawal of 2003 World Cup finalist hooker Brendan Cannon from their starting XV for the one-off Test on Sunday against Ireland after he failed to recover from a neck injury.

Wallaby coach John Connolly said that the 33-year-old 42-times capped Western Force star had not satisfied the medical team that he was fit enough for the stern examination with Six Nations Triple Crown winners Ireland.

”He won’t play. It is a bit of both things really, form and fitness,” the 55-year-old Connolly said.

”We just don’t think he’s a 100%.

”Tai McIsaac will come in to the starting line-up while Stephen Moore will be on the replacements bench,” added the two-time Super 12 coach of the year.

The seven-time capped McIsaac has the full confidence of Connolly.

”There will not be a problem to our system,” said Connolly.

Moore is no rookie either, having already won seven caps, his first against Samoa in 2005.

While Ireland are coming off a record 32-15 victory over 1995 world champions South Africa, Australia have been less than impressive, drawing 29-29 with Wales and beating Italy 25-18 on their tour so far.

However, the Wallabies last suffered a defeat to the Irish five matches ago in an 18-12 loss in 2002. — Sapa-AFP