Massive blow for Joe Schmidt’s Wallabies as long-term injury to star centre could signal end of rugby union career

Dylan Coetzee
Reds star Jordan Petaia leaves the field injured.

Reds star Jordan Petaia leaves the field injured.

Reds centre Jordan Petaia will “likely” require surgery for a shoulder injury sustained in the Queensland side’s 31-0 win over the Highlanders last weekend.

It was a memorable win as the Highlanders were kept scoreless for just the fourth time in history but for the Wallaby star, it only lasted slightly more than 30 minutes before he was forced off the field.

Big blow

Reds boss Les Kiss revealed Petaia could be out for the season which means the Highlanders clash might be his last game in maroon with his contract with Rugby Australia coming to an end.

The coach openly admitted how big a blow the injury was, particularly with some players already unavailable at the moment following red cards for Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight in two weekends ago.

“Likely surgery … likely be out for the season,” Kiss said.

“He’s disappointed. It’s a blow, without a doubt. A player of his calibre and the type of game he brings.

“Couple that with (the suspended) Fraser (McReight), Tate (McDermott), Seru (Uru, thumb) … some good players unavailable.”

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Uncertain furture

Regarding Petaia’s future, the bright talent has plenty of options to choose from, whether that is re-signing with the Reds, heading north to Japan or France, a code switch to the NRL or possibly even going the NFL route like Louis Rees-Zammit.

For Kiss, it is simple, as he wants Petaia to stay in the Reds set-up and hopes he can recover in time to show off his skills again this season.

“Those are conversations with RA but we’d like to ensure he stays around. I don’t think it complicates anything in my head,” Kiss said.

“He’s a good rugby player … hopefully he’s alright by the end of the season and could do some more things then.”

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