MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The Wallabies have suffered a heavy injury blow in the leadup to the final Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks, with lock Izack Rodda to undergo shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old Queensland Red, who made his Wallabies debut against the All Blacks in August, had carried the injury through the back end of the Rugby Championship but decided to end his season to be ready for 2018, the Australian Rugby Union said on its website (rugby.com.au).
After a long period of instability in the second row, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika appeared to have settled on Rodda and Adam Coleman as his favoured locking duo.
Rodda’s injury will mean Cheika turns to either the seasoned Rob Simmons or another rookie in two-test Queensland Red Lukhan Tui for Saturday’s match at Lang Park in Brisbane.
The All Blacks have already retained the Bledisloe Cup with victory in Dunedin in August. Australia will bid to prevent the world champions from sweeping the series 3-0.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury