Australia have suffered another setback on the eve of their Rugby World Cup clash with Wales when it was confirmed that promising outside back Max Jorgensen’s World Cup dream is over due to a fractured fibula.
The 19-year-old injured his leg during a training session in the build-up to the Wallabies’ highly anticipated Pool C encounter against the Welsh in Lyon on Sunday.
The versatile Waratahs flyer, who can play on the wing or at full-back, went for scans on Wednesday, which confirmed the fracture.
After losing to Fiji in Saint-Etienne on Sunday, the Wallabies can ill afford a defeat against Wales as it will almost certainly mean they will be eliminated at the global showpiece’s group stage for the first time in the tournament’s history.
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones expressed his disappointment at Jorgensen’s injury.
“Firstly we’re all feeling for Max. He’s a good young man who has a massive future ahead of him in the gold jersey,” Jones said in a statement.
“He’s worked really hard to come back from a serious knee injury and was training exceptionally well to put his hand up for selection.
“We wish him a speedy and successful recovery and look forward to seeing him out on the field as soon as possible.”
Jorgensen shone during his debut campaign for the Waratahs this year but had only recently returned from a knee injury which ended his Super Rugby Pacific season early.
His latest setback adds to the Wallabies’ growing casualty list, with Taniela Tupou (hamstring) and Will Skelton (calf) already ruled out of the match against Wales.
Australia could turn to the Barbarians for a replacement as the famous touring team have over 15 Australians participating in their tour against club sides in Europe.
Dropped full-back could return to Wallabies squad
Wallabies full-back Tom Wright, who started at full-back in Australia’s Rugby Championship games against South Africa and Argentina before being dropped from the squad, is amongst the leading candidates to be called up as he starred in the Barbarians’ tour opener against Northampton.
Waratahs wing Dylan Pietsch is another candidate, having been involved with the Wallabies for the Rugby Championship, while Lachie Anderson is another Australian speedster also in the Barbarians squad.