Injury-plagued Wallabies youngster Jordan Petaia is reportedly in doubt for the opening match of the Bledisloe Cup in Wellington next month.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 20-year-old Queensland Reds utility back sustained a grade two hip flexor injury during his side’s 28-23 Super Rugby AU grand final loss to the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
The Herald reports that the three-test youngster picked up the injury while assisting teammate and fellow Wallabies prospect Harry Wilson’s try with a flick pass offload.
It is believed Petaia will be assessed by Wallabies staff on Monday, but if the initial prognosis is confirmed, then he will be hit with a sideline spell of between three and six weeks.
That would rule him out of the Bledisloe Cup opener at Sky Stadium on October 11 at the bare minimum in what would be the most recent of an unfortunate string of injury blows in his brief professional career.
Touted as one of the most promising young players on the planet, Petaia has already suffered serious shoulder and Lisfranc injuries, limiting his appearances for the Reds to just a handful of games since his Super Rugby debut two years ago.
Despite having missed almost the entire Super Rugby campaign last year, the then-19-year-old was included as the only uncapped member of Michael Cheika’s 2019 World Cup squad in an acknowledgement of his prodigious talent.
The Herald report says it is believed that Petaia is believed to be the first-choice Wallabies centre, but this latest injury may force a backline re-shuffle from new head coach Dave Rennie.
Petaia’s Reds teammate Hunter Paisami may be among those to come into consideration for the Bledisloe Cup opener, with the uncapped 22-year-old impressing for Queensland this season.
Fellow Queenslander James O’Connor may also come into the reckoning, as could Brumbies midfielder Irae Simone.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now