LYON, France -- First it was Taniela Tupou, then skipper Will Skelton, now rising star Max Jorgensen has gone down with injury in Wallabies camp -- but unlike his two forward teammates the 19-year-old is no chance of returning at Rugby World Cup 2023.
Jorgensen suffered a fracture fibula at training on Wednesday, the Wallabies confirmed, the uncapped outside back believed to have landed awkwardly when fielding a kick. One of the bolters in coach Eddie Jones' squad, who was picked with an eye on the 2027 tournament, it is rotten luck for Jorgensen who also suffered a season-ending Super Rugby Pacific injury earlier this year.
"Firstly we're all feeling for Max. He's a good young man who has a massive future ahead of him in the gold jersey," Jones said via media release.
"He's worked really hard to come back from a serious knee injury and was training exceptionally well to put his hand up for selection.
"We wish him a speedy and successful recovery and look forward to seeing him out on the field as soon as possible."
The Wallabies say they will announce a replacement in "due course" with the dumped Tom Wright one possibility, while Jones could also follow South Africa's lead in their addition of Handre Pollard and opt for a player in a different position to help cover other injuries or worrying slides in form.
If Australia lose to Wales on Sunday, however, their final pool game against Portugal will be completely inconsequential, with the Wallabies then having slumped to an unwanted piece of Australian rugby history -- being the first team through 10 editions of the Rugby World Cup to exit after the pool stage.
They can avoid that with a win in Lyon on Sunday night [Monday morning AEST], though bonus points may still be a factor across the closing games of Pool C.