Hooker Jordan Uelese is out of the Wallabies Test series against Ireland after suffering a suspected ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Melbourne Rebels’ win over the Blues in Auckland, Rugby Australia said Sunday.
Uelese, 21, will have further scans on his left knee in Melbourne this week with a replacement player for the Wallabies squad to be confirmed on Monday.
Uelese had to be helped from the field early in the second half of the Rebels’ 20-10 win in Auckland in the Super Rugby match on Saturday.
In Tatafu Polota-Nau’s absence, Uelese was the obvious choice to start at hooker against the Six Nations champions.
Uncapped duo Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Folau Faingaa are the other hookers in the Wallabies squad, with Uelese’s Rebels teammate Anaru Rangi also in with a chance of a call-up to the 33-man squad.
While Uelese is out, back-rower Peter Samu has officially joined the squad after a release was agreed between Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby.
The Melbourne-born flanker is now in contention to make his Test debut for the opener at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Ireland, meanwhile, have also lost their main hooker for the tour as it was confirmed this week that captain Rory Best will miss out through a hamstring injury. The Ulster man has since been replaced by Munster’s Niall Scannell.
© Agence France-Presse (with additional edits from Simon O’Keeffe)