Wallabies lock Adam Coleman will be heading home from their end-of-year tour, after confirmation of a medial ligament strain.
Coleman hurt his knee in just the fifth minute of Australia’s 23-22 win over Scotland last weekend, with scans in the days since confirming a grade two strain.
The 204cm lock’s injury is a particularly bad blow for the Wallabies, with Coleman a standout in his nine Tests this season, taking on the lineout calling responsibilities and forging a strong partnership with fellow rookie Rory Arnold.
“Adam’s got an injury that’s going to rule him out of the rest of the tour,” said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
“I think it’s a grade two medial strain so we’ll get him home and get him healed and then he can have a holiday before next season starts.
“It’s bit of a shame for him because he’s had a really good start to the year and he’s worked his way through since June but in saying that it gives someone else an opportunity.”
Cheika said it was an unfortunate turn of events for Coleman, but said the positive was that they had seen his potential this season.
“There’s two ways to look at it,” he added.
“There’s discovery, so we’ve been able to find, get those two guys playing good rugby and starting to improve at this level and we’ve also got ourselves another very, very handy lineout caller and he’s only in single digit Tests.
“He’s disappointed but that’s the way footy goes sometimes, you’ve just got to go with it.”
Eight players have been flown into the Wallabies setup for the next two weeks, with a midweek tour match against the French Barbarians set for November 24, though any of those could be considered for Saturday’s Test against France, Cheika said
One of those players is Brumbies lock Sam Carter, who already has 13 Test caps, while Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm and Will Skelton have all featured in the Wallabies second row this season and could be replacements for Coleman.
Simmons would seem the most likely, having replaced the 24-year-old in Edinburgh, taking up the lineout calling duties.
Cheika said any of the new additions would be in the mix to stay with the squad if they impressed in training.
“I’ve told all the players that they’ve got two weeks here with the squad pretty much this week and next week and anyone I feel has earned it through performance or energy or training level will stay on,” he said.