Scans on Monday ruled them both out of the tournament and they were replaced in the squad by James Hanson, the hooker, and Sam Carter, the lock.
“The fact that has worked, the two lads playing together [Pocock and Michael Hooper] has made the option easier”. “It is hard to replace Wycliff Palu like for like so now we are moving into a different part of the competition we might take a bit of coverage in the front row”.
Cheika – whose side face England at Twickenham on Saturday – expressed his sympathies to the injured men, saying: ‘Very few players have the opportunity to play for the Wallabies, let alone at a Rugby World Cup, so from that perspective I’m really gutted for them.
“I believe that Australian rugby’s not realised the players it has, the players it can draw on to build quality”, he said.
James Hanson in action for the Reds, 2012.
The coach told the team’s website: “I’m pretty sure that there is an appeals process around yellow cards and we will appeal that yellow card”.
“You just try and prepare all those situations”.
Palu’s injury means the 33-year-old could have played his final game for the Wallabies as he has signed to play in Japan next season and falls three caps short of Australia’s 60-cap threshold for overseas-based internationals.
Cheika said that it’s a big blow to lose the strength of Skelton and the experience of Palu.
The Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika said it was disappointing to see the tournament end for Palu and Skelton after solid contributions by the pair throughout the global season. “The way he came back from injury to play in this tournament has been very special for the players”.
“He’s got a strong but quiet influence within the team and he’s going to be sorely missed”.
Carter is now playing in France with Bordeaux-Begles on a four-game deal so he should be available ahead of the Wallabies’ crucial pool match with hosts England at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT).