Highlanders utility back Richard Buckman will miss the entire Super Rugby season after suffering a serious shoulder injury.
Buckman picked up the injury when he scored a try against Racing 92 in Hong Kong on Saturday.
The 'Barracuda', as is his affectionate nickname, was told on Wednesday that his shoulder will require surgery, leaving him on the sideline for at least nine months.
"It is obviously pretty disappointing, I was looking forward to another big season trying to defend that title," the 26-year-old told Stuff.
"But it is just one of those things you can't do too much about now and look forward to the future and see the positives and get all my injuries right.
"I went and saw the surgeon last night and he gave me the news which was pretty tough. It was a tough sleep last night."
Buckman impressed in the 2015 season, proving his versatility in the backline as the Highlanders went on to won their first Super Rugby title.