Ryan replaces Alexander in Wallabies squad

Sydney: Paddy Ryan has replaced tight-head prop Ben Alexander in the Wallabies 32-man France Tour squad, the Australian Rugby Union said on Sunday.

This is to allow Alexander an opportunity to rehabilitate from an ongoing nerve compression injury in his neck, the ARU said.

The decision to remove Alexander from the squad was made by mutual agreement following discussions between Alexander, his ACT Brumbies club, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie and Australian Rugby Union medical staff, a statement said.

McKenzie said it was agreed it would be in Alexander`s best interests to use the three-Test window against France to get in shape for the remainder of the rugby schedule this year.

"The injury is one I understand quite well being a former tight-head prop and, while not a sinister issue, it can significantly influence performance due to the impact it has on a player`s overall strength," McKenzie said.

"In Ben`s instance, it has been admirable to see him push through the pain at a Super Rugby level.

"However, when you consider the challenge we`ll face against an extremely physical and abrasive French scrum, we all agreed it would be better suited for Ben to use the upcoming period to rehab the injury and regain his strength."

Ryan, who plays for the New South Wales Waratahs, made his Test debut against France in 2012, and has twice been capped for Australia.

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