Wallabies centre Petaia sidelined for five months

Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool D - Australia v Uruguay

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Queensland Reds centre Jordan Petaia, who made his Wallabies debut as a teenager at last year's World Cup in Japan, has been sidelined for up to five months by a left shoulder injury that will require reconstruction surgery, the Super Rugby side said.

The 19-year-old missed all but two games of the last Super Rugby season with a foot problem and managed only two outings this year before suffering the injury in Argentina last week as the Reds prepared to play the Jaguares.

Scans on Tuesday revealed he would need surgery and his recuperation period of 20 weeks will rule him out of the rest of the Super Rugby season as well as Australia's two-match July series against Ireland.

A powerful, athletic runner, Petaia also battled a hamstring problem last year but showed enough potential to get the nod as a surprise inclusion in Michael Cheika's World Cup squad.

He scored a try on debut against Uruguay as the youngest Australian to play at a World Cup and made his first test start at outside centre in the quarter-final loss to England.

Dave Rennie, who succeeded Cheika after the World Cup, will certainly have had Petaia on his list of likely starters for the Ireland series but will now have to look elsewhere as he starts to rebuild a Wallabies side that failed to fire in Japan.


(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)