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Wallabies' Carter Gordon sent home early with knee injury

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’ wretched World Cup just goes from bad to worse with Carter Gordon and Nick Frost ruled out for the remainder of the tournament through injury.


Lock Frost suffered a right knee joint injury in the victory over Portugal on Sunday, with scans showing he won’t be available for selection in the unlikely event Australia make the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old Gordon picked up his knee cartilage injury at training last week and is flying back to Australia for treatment as soon as possible, Rugby Australia announced on Wednesday.

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The only consolation for both players is that they would have been hugely unlikely to have featured in the knockout stages anyway, with Fiji, their pool conquerors, prohibitive favourites to qualify at Australia’s expense by beating Portugal this Sunday (Monday AEDT) in Toulouse.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said in a statement from RA: “We’re disappointed for Nick and Carter that their seasons have ended through injury.”

“Nick showed great courage to play through significant discomfort against Portugal, while Carter has earned valuable experience during his first year as a Test player.

“We wish both of them a quick and successful recovery and to watching them continue to improve during Super Rugby Pacific next year.”



For the luckless Gordon, it’s the end of an ill-starred campaign after he was effectively singled out by Jones to be the poster boy for his youthful selection gamble in France as the side’s only specialist five-eighth, with elder, more experienced pivots like Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley left out the squad.

It’s a gamble that singularly backfired, with Gordon, after struggling in the early matches and misfiring from the kicking tee, hooked after 50 minutes in the loss to Fiji and then dumped before the must-win Wales match, which Australia lost 40-6.

Gordon was then a last-minute withdrawal from the team to play Portugal in Saint-Etienne last weekend after picking up his injury.

Utility Ben Donaldson was promoted to No.10 but there’s now no cover for him in that position, demonstrating the folly of Jones’s original selection.


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mitch 1 hours ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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