Wallaby McMeniman to miss Reds' opener - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallaby McMeniman to miss Reds' opener

10/02/2009 07:30:16 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies flanker Hugh McMeniman will miss Queensland's opening Super 14 match in South Africa due to an illness in the family.

Reds coach Phil Mooney said the 25-year-old was given immediate leave to return home on compassionate grounds after learning of the illness upon landing in Johannesburg.

Queensland take on the Bulls at Pretoria on Saturday.

Mooney said McMeniman's place in the 26-man tour squad would not be filled straight away.

He said there was a chance McMeniman could return to South Africa in time for the second-round match against the Stormers in Cape Town on February 20.

The Reds team to play the Bulls will be announced at 10am (AEST) on Wednesday.

The absence of the Reds' most physical forward is another blow to a Queensland pack already missing skipper and James Horwill (foot) before they line up against Victor Matfield's imposing Bulls forwards.

There was a question mark over McMeniman's availability for the opening match from the outset due to a niggling shoulder complaint.

McMeniman was rested from last Thursday night's 22-19 trial win over the Western Force at Ballymore after copping a knock against the Auckland Blues on January 30.

Scott Higginbotham was in line to start for the Wallaby on Saturday.

Queensland takes on the Bulls in South Africa for the first time since their record 92-3 loss in 2007.

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