sport

Wallabies lose Polota-Nau

Tatafu Polota-Nau has been ruled out of Australia's Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand because of a knee injury.

The hooker suffered the injury during Saturday's Super Rugby final between New South Wales Waratahs and the Crusaders.

Scans on Monday showed he had suffered a low-grade medial cruciate ligament strain.

The Wallabies have already lost two-cap hooker Stephen Moore to a knee injury with Nathan Charles expected to replace Polota-Nau and earn a first start against New Zealand in Sydney on August 16.

With the two sides locking horns again the following week, at Eden Park in Auckland, it seems certain that Polota-Nau will miss both matches against New Zealand.

Polota-Nau's injury is the second major blow in the hooking department suffered by Ewen McKenzie with Brumbies forward Moore suffering a cruciate ligament tear during the June Tests against France.

Charles now looks set to take over starting duties, having only made his Wallaby debut off the bench in the second Test against France in June.

The Wallabies have not beaten New Zealand since 2011, however that was also the last time an Australian side claimed the Super Rugby title.