The Wallabies have combined information on the damage entrance with spearhead Taniela Tupou unlikely to face Fiji whereas fellow prop James Slipper seems set for his first look of the Rugby World Cup.
Tight-head Tupou suffered a minor hamstring pressure on the workforce’s coaching base outdoors of Saint-Etienne and whereas he hasn’t been formally dominated out, they’re unlikely to threat him regardless of the significance of the conflict on Sunday (Monday AEST).
With Fiji dropping their opening pool match in opposition to Wales, Australia are virtually assured a quarter-final berth with a victory.
Playing in his fourth World Cup, Slipper has been battling a foot injury but was running freely early in their session on Thursday.
It would be a big blow to lose Tupou, with the powerhouse prop leading the way up front in Australia’s tournament-opening victory over Georgia.
But the Wallabies will be relieved if 34-year-old Slipper, who can play both sides of the scrum, is able to suit up for his 132nd Test appearance.
Pone Fa’amausili, who has started to deliver on his giant-sized promise this year, is another option after overcoming a calf complaint.
“Taniela has a minor injury but we are going to test him tomorrow and I hope he will be ready for the game against Fiji,” said Wallabies lineout coach Pierre-Henry Broncan.
“Slipper and Pone are back today and trained with the team no worries, so they’re available for selection.”
“There’s 33 in this team and we know it’s out of our control when things like that happens so our prep can’t change,” Leota said.
“We’ve got to keep prepping like we’ve been doing the whole week against Fiji and we just back the next guy that comes up and if they take Nela’s (Tupou’s) spot we just give them the same confidence that we give Nela.”
Leota, who is at his first World Cup, said the experience of Slipper had been invaluable before their first outing at a full house at Stade de France.
“Before that first game, Slippy (Slipper) helped us, just giving us insight into what it was like the first time for him.
“Just helping us with our nerves … it’s normal to have nerves and to hear that from someone like Slippy it just helps ease our nerves a lot knowing that one of our leaders is just like us.”
Coach Eddie Jones will name his team on Friday (5.30pm AEST), with sharp-shooter Ben Donaldson firming to again start at fullback ahead of Andrew Kellaway.
With Fijian heritage, Fines-Leleiwasa has a similar running style to McDermott and has impressed Broncan, who is a former halfback.
“Nic has more experience and he can control the game perhaps more than Fines but Fines is a Fijian player,” said Broncan, who coaches at France club Castres Olympique.
“He’s an athletic player, very fast, he can carry very well and he’s a strong boy.”