The Wallabies will look to Plan B for the Rugby Championship after towering lock Rory Arnold fractured his forearm while playing in France overnight.
Arnold was at the top of coach Dave Rennie’s hit list after Rugby Australia announced selection revisions earlier this month that opened the door to high-profile players plying their trade overseas.
For 2020 Rennie is allowed to select two players who have not met the 60-test or seven-year service threshold that has been in place since 2015, and with a lack of depth in the second row, Arnold was in the frame.
Standing 208cm, the former Brumby has played 26 tests and was part of Australia’s World Cup campaign last year before leaving for France.
But the 30-year-old broke his arm while playing for Toulouse, ruling him out of the Rugby Championship which gets underway in early November.
New Wallabies forwards coach Geoff Parling was watching the French team’s Champions Cup semi-final against Exeter and saw Arnold go down.
“It’s unfortunate for Rory – he’s a guy who came into the discussion about joining us for that Rugby Championship,” Parling said.
“He’s certainly a decent player and I like him as well because he’s about seven-foot-four so that definitely helps.
“Now we will reassess but I’ve got lots of confidence in guys we’ve got here.”
The Wallabies may now consider the likes of Will Skelton, Izack Rodda (both in France) or Adam Coleman (England), who Parling played with at the Melbourne Rebels before switching into coaching.
The Wallabies are currently in Christchurch preparing for two Bledisloe Cup tests in New Zealand next month and are on the final day of a three-day hotel quarantine.
They will start physical training on Tuesday for the opening test in Wellington on October 11.
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