AUSTRALIA rugby coach Ewan McKenzie admits his team will be vulnerable against Scotland on Saturday after six players were banned and nine more warned for taking part in a drinking session.
In the latest alcohol-related storm to hit the Wallabies, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Nick Cummins, Liam Gill, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan were yesterday handed one-match bans.
McKenzie said the players “stayed out late” and drank “inappropriate levels of alcohol” on Tuesday last week, just four days before their 32-15 win over Ireland.
Five more players – Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga’a, Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps – were hit with written warnings, while Scott Fardy, Mike Harris, Ben McCalman and Nic White were verbally rapped.
Ryan will be available to face Scotland this weekend as Australia would be in breach of international rules if they left themselves with just three fit props, but the tourists are still set to be significantly weakened.
McKenzie said: “There’s no doubt having talented players unavailable will put this team under significant pressure but we won’t be using this situation as an excuse.”