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Carter Gordon ruled out of Wallabies' clash with Portugal

By Finn Morton
Carter Gordon of Australia applauds the fans at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The Wallabies have been forced into a late reshuffle on the bench with rising star Carter Gordon a last-minute withdrawal from the team to play Portugal in Saint-Etienne.

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Gordon has been ruled out of the Wallabies’ final Rugby World Cup pool clash with a knee injury, and will be replaced by veteran Samu Kerevi on the bench.

The playmaker has come under fire following a series of underwhelming performances in Wallaby gold. Gordon failed to shine in five consecutive starts in the No. 10 jersey before being dropped last week.

Fixture
Rugby World Cup
Australia
34 - 14
Full-time
Portugal
All Stats and Data

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Utility Ben Donaldson was promoted to the starting side after impressing off the pine during the loss to Fiji. Donaldson also received Player of the Match honours against Georgia in Paris.

But the absence of Gordon leaves the Wallabies in a spot of bother. With Donaldson the only proven flyhalf in the squad, there appears to be no cover for the position.

At just 22 years of age, coach Eddie Jones initially picked Gordon as the only flyhalf in the Wallabies’ 33-man World Cup squad. It was a headline-grabbing risk with Jones looking past the likes of Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley.

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Ash 290 days ago

The decision to take Gordon to the World Cup as the only specialist no 10 was unbelievable, particularly after his showing in the match against the All Blacks at the MCG. But he should have never been put in that position. I can't stand Bernard Foley but they didn't just lose his skills and experience; they lost the determination, grit, and fight that a player like Foley has.

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Jon 1 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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