Huxley antics prove costly

Some late-night tomfoolery has cost Australia full-back Julian Huxley his place in the team for Saturday's Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup decider against New Zealand. [more]

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Some late-night tomfoolery has cost Australia full-back Julian Huxley his place in the team for Saturday’s Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup decider against New Zealand.

Huxley suffered a thigh injury during a playful scuffle with a team-mate at a private function following the ACT Brumbies’ end-of-season presentation ceremony on Saturday.

The 27-year-old was ruled out on Monday after the team doctor told him he would be unable to train in the lead-up to the match.

A sheepish Huxley faced the media and expressed his regret for the disruption the incident had caused to the team.

"Whilst it was an unfortunate incident that I really didn’t have a lot of control over, I really regret that it’s caused a distraction considering how well the team’s going at the moment," Huxley said.

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"I just hope it doesn’t remain one (a distraction) all week and the guys can come out on the weekend and give the All Blacks hell," Huxley said.

"It’s really disappointing to have to miss out on the Test match this weekend…to miss out on a game like that, they don’t come along every year and hopefully I’ll get the chance to play some of these games again."

Huxley’s misfortune opens the door for a likely return to Test match rugby for Chris Latham, who completed a full match in the Brisbane club competition for the Gold Coast Breakers on Saturday.

The 31-year-old remains central to the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign in September but coach John Connolly was reluctant to confirm Latham’s selection, saying he would monitor his progress before making a final decision.

"It (Huxley’s injury) does change things a little bit for Chris and we’ll watch him train for two days and make a decision," Connolly said.

"We have a couple of options there (at full-back) and there’s a lot of debate whether he’s ready to go back," Connolly said.

"Obviously he’s got the class, he (has been) playing, rustiness is the issue; so we have a couple of issues. We can either put Adam Ashley-Cooper back or we can play Chris Latham, and we’ll probably finalise that tomorrow (Tuesday) night."

The Wallabies squad is due to be announced on Tuesday morning and will depart for Auckland on Wednesday.

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