Wallabies flanker Rob Leota suffers Achilles rupture, All Blacks legends call for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Wallabies forward Rob Leota suffered a long-term injury in Thursday’s loss to the All Blacks and will be out on the sidelines for around nine months.

Leota became the second Wallabies player this season, after Quade Cooper, to suffer a torn Achilles tendon. The injury was initially declared a calf injury immediately after the game, but the Rebels confirmed on Monday it was a more serious injury.

Scans on Friday confirmed the fracture and Leota underwent surgery on Saturday.

Rugby Rebels GM Nick Stiles said that while the setback was disappointing, the Rebels were confident Leota would return bigger and better as he looks to push for World Cup selection in 2023.

“Rob’s injury is obviously really disappointing for everyone at the club, especially after the excitement of two local boys playing in a Melbourne Bledisloe Test,” Stiles said in a statement.

“Rob is a consummate professional with his training and recovery and someone of high character so I have no doubt he will approach his rehabilitation to the best of his ability.

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“We are honored to share Bledisloe’s build up with his parents last week and to feel their passion, pride and love for their son.

“As a club we will do everything we can to give Rob the same support through his rehabilitation process and ensure he comes out bigger and better.”

Legends support RTS for Bledisloe

All Blacks legends have urged Ian Foster to give code-hopper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck a start against the Wallabies on Saturday after suffering two serious injuries in midfield.

With the Bledisloe Cup secured, former All Blacks John Kirwan, Jeff Wilson and Mils Muliaina want the former NRL star to get the No. 12 jersey for the game at Eden Park.

David Havili’s concussion and Quinn Tupaea’s serious knee injury have vacated a position in the All Blacks backline.

The general consensus is that Foster will start Jordie Barrett at 12 and move to 15, but if he does that means RTS is fourth pick at the position with a year to go before the Worlds.

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“A lot of times people say ‘don’t get things mixed up’ but I think we have to do that,” Muliaina told Sky Sports The Breakdown. “I think he’s wanted to do that for a long time, put guys on the field and get them to experience Test match footy.

“I still think we have the players to go out there and win and win well.”

Wilson said picking Tuivasa-Sheck in 12th place would be the least disruptive to the backline.

“I think Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has to play in this friendly,” said Wilson.

“I have doubts. We find out what’s happening outside, the connections between our midfield and our underdogs.

“For me there isn’t enough talk that allows the guys to change and the guys get into really bad angles.

“Will Jordan be found out, Caleb Clarke… bad sides because I don’t think there was enough communication to tell them where to go.” They played.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in action during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Hutt Recreation Ground on July 12, 2022 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in action during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Hutt Recreation Ground on July 12, 2022 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“I honestly have no problem the more I’ve thought about him [Tuivasa-Sheck] from 12 in this test game, because we didn’t make any further changes then.

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“It’s just the one. Only thing is you need to find some more spread and kick play that David Havili added.”

“I don’t think he will start Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in 12th place… [but] I’d like to see that,” Kirwan said.

“Just throw him in cold water. We have the trophy in the closet, the Bledisloe Cup.

“We want to win it [Rugby] Championship, but if you think of the World Championship, I’d like to see Roger Tuivasa-Sheck get a start.

“…I think the biggest decision is what you do with Jordie Barrett because then you change a whole backline…Will [Jordan] the full-back, what are you going to do on the wing?

“I think there are a couple of structural things on defense that we need to look at as well. Our full-back has let us down throughout the championship.

“But we have the trophy, play Roger.”

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