Cheika hopeful of Horne recovery

Australia coach Michael Cheika hasn’t given up hope winger Rob Horne can overcome a shoulder injury, insisting he’s not yet considering a World Cup injury replacement.

Horne was forced out early in the first half of the Wallabies’ superb 33-13 win over England that booked their quarter-final spot and eliminated the hosts at the group stages of the competition.

He left the stadium with his arm in a sling, prompting fears he could join forwards Will Skelton (pectoral) and Wycliff Palu (hamstring) in being ruled out of the tournament.

The utility back had scans on Sunday in London and Cheika remains hopeful he’ll be fit to remain in the squad for the rest of the tournament.

“Rob Horne’s going for a scan, about 1pm or so,” Cheika said.

“The way it works here we’ll probably get the reports here a little later and we’ll get some confirmation from Australia, depending on what happens.

“He’s feeling okay. He’s not too bad. It’s a little sore which probably is a good thing.

“It probably means there is less damage. We’ll just wait for the scan and see how it is, whether he can stay, recover or whether he needs to go home.”

There were also concerns for star fullback Israel Folau, who failed to finish the game after rolling his ankle but Cheika said the cross-code superstar should be fit for the Wales match.

“Izzy pulled up pretty good,” he said.

“There are some sore lads because it was a very physical encounter. They’ve all done their recovery now so I’m sure they will enjoy the day off.”

Despite the bruising encounter against the English, Cheika said he had no interest in fielding a second-string side against Warren Gatland’s Wales.

“There’s no resting I don’t think,” he said.

“It will be done on how we feel physically. You need to peak at different times.

“Everyone has had an opportunity there to rotate through and participate early on and get involved.

“We have to look at the collective load now, and say realistically we had the Rugby Championship and for the guys who started yesterday, they have really only played two matches in five to six weeks.

“You have to manage other things later on but right now I don’t feel we have to be looking for rests and stuff like that.”

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