World Cup selection bolter Jordan Petaia will return early from the Wallabies camp in New Caledonia with injury and has been ruled out of next week’s Test against Samoa.
Uncapped 19-year-old Petaia will have to wait until the World Cup in Japan to make his international debut after injuring his hamstring during a tackling drill early in the team’s 10-day camp in Noumea.
It continues a dreadful run of luck with injuries for one of the sport’s rising stars, having also suffered a hamstring injury days out from what would have been a maiden Wallabies appearance against Italy last November.
The Queensland Reds outside centre missed nearly all of this year’s Super Rugby season with a foot injury suffered in round three yet still earned a World Cup call-up because of his raw attacking potential.
Petaia was to fly home on Wednesday for further treatment and while the injury isn’t deemed serious, he won’t be risked in the pre-tournament hit out against Samoa in Sydney on September 7.
It is likely he will rejoin the squad in Noumea but not train fully with the team.
Petaia became the 10th uncapped player to make an Australian World Cup squad when it was unveiled last Friday.
Elsewhere, the Wallabies’ numbers were boosted by the arrival of winger Marika Koroibete, who missed the opening days of the camp to attend to a family matter in Melbourne.
Former Wallabies great George Gregan had been working primarily with the halfbacks and on attacking skills but was to return to Australia on Wednesday.
A Wallabies spokesperson said the camp had been getting the most out of the players, with some fitness and training sessions starting from 6am.
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