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Wales hooker Dewi Lake has been ruled out for the autumn international series, which includes a test against Australia on November 26.
With Dan Biggar already out coach Wayne Pivac named loose-forward Justin Tipuric as his captain for the series which opens against New Zealand in Cardiff on November 5 and also includes clashes against Argentina and Georgia.
New Zealander Pivac is hopeful of having a number of players back from injury to face his compatriots.
Among the injured are George North (knee), Leigh Halfpenny (hamstring strain), Josh Adams (hand), Alex Cuthbert (shoulder), Gareth Anscombe (ribs) and Taulupe Faletau (calf).
“Those guys are all in rehab at the moment. They are all improving,” Pivac said.
“All of them, at this stage, are in consideration for the All Blacks, that’s the plan, and hopefully we will have them all up and running at the latest on Monday. They are all in the same boat.”
But he said of Lake: “He’s out for the entire autumn series unfortunately. He’d done well in South Africa (in July) and we were looking to keep building.”
Tipuric won his last cap, his 86th, 19 months ago after a shoulder injury sustained in the build-up to the British & Irish Lions series in South Africa.
“He’s done exceptionally well to work hard and get back to this level of the game once being cleared to play. I admire a player who can go through those dark times,” said Pivac
“It was one of those things,” Tipuric, 33, said, reflecting on his long spell out of the game.
“I always had that aim to get back on the pitch. You are not the youngest and a few people are questioning if you are going to carry on or not, but you make the most of what you’ve got.
“There were a couple (of bumps in the road). That’s part of a rugby career. You have bumps in the road all the way through your career.”
Australian Associated Press
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