Jordan Uelese’s season is all but over, with the Wallabies confirming a suspected ACL rupture for the hooker.
The likely Wallabies starter had played just 10 minutes in the second half of Melbourne’s win over the Blues when an attempted tackle on Akira Ioane left him clutching his left knee.
He appeared to be in serious pain and was helped off the ground by two trainers.
It was initially hoped that Uelese may have only hurt his PCL but RUGBY.com.au understands the Rebels believe Uelese has ruptured his ACL.
The Wallabies confirmed those suspicions on Sunday, heading back to Melbourne for scans to confirm the diagnosis, a replacement hooker to be named on Monday.
It’s a devastating blow for the 21-year-old who, in Tatafu Polota-Nau’s absence, was the obvious choice to start at hooker against Ireland on Saturday.
Uncapped duo Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Folau Faingaa are the other hookers in the Wallabies squad, with Uelese’s Rebels teammate Anaru Rangi a chance of a call-up to the 33-man squad.
Waratahs and capped Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu is another option, the only other rake with Test experience in Australia’s Super Rugby sides.
The Uelese injury could leave the Wallabies completely devoid of Test experience, with Paenga-Amosa and Faingaa yet to make their international debuts.
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Ireland will be missing their first-choice hooker, captain Rory Best, with a hamstring injury.
The Wallabies take on Ireland in a three-Test June Series, kicking off on Saturday June 9 at 8pm AEST. Buy tickets here.