ROB KEARNEY WILL miss Saturday’s Super Rugby AU semi-final after failing in a race to prove his fitness.
Kearney’s Western Force take on the Brumbies in Canberra (10.45am Irish time), but the former Ireland international remains sidelined by the hip injury that has plagued him in recent weeks.
His absence opens the door for Jake Strachan at fullback, who comes into the Force XV for his first start of the season.
“Jake’s a very talented player, he has the ability to create something out of nothing. His nickname is ‘Silky’ for a reason,” head coach Tim Sampson told the club’s official website.
The Force will also have to do without the experience of Tevita Kuridrani in midfield, with the 60-cap Australian international ruled out through suspension.
The winners of Saturday’s semi-final will face the Queensland Reds in the final on Saturday 8 May.