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Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau to miss Rugby Championships opener

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SYDNEY - Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has been ruled out of Australia's Rugby Championships opener against New Zealand with a knee injury suffered in Saturday's Super Rugby final.

Polota-Nau underwent scans Monday and was found to have a low-grade medial crucial ligament strain. He limped from the field at halftime Saturday during the New South Wales Waratahs' 33-32 win over the Crusaders.

Polota-Nau's injury compounds the Wallabies' front row problems because hooker and captain Stephen Moore has already been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Nathan Charles, who has played only two tests, will likely start in place of Polota-Nau against New Zealand at Sydney on Aug. 16.

The All Blacks have won the Rugby Championships the last two years and are unbeaten in their last 17 tests.

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