Wallaby sensation David Pocock’s season has come to a premature end.
The star openside suffered a groin strain last weekend and will miss the final two games of the season.
Pocock picked up the injury in defeat to the Brumbies on Saturday and has been left out of a 24-man squad to travel to New Zealand this week.
The 24-year-old will miss the games with the Blues and Crusaders and, with the Force already out of the running for a play-off spot, could have played his last game for the Perth-based franchise.
Pocock is out of contract at the end of the season and is being heavily linked with a move away from the west coast.
Australian conference leaders the Brumbies are thought to be his most likely destination even though the Force are fighting tooth and nail to keep their most valuable asset at the Nib Stadium.
Having lost James O’Connor to the Rebels last term, and with veteran second row Nathan Sharpe retiring this summer, failing to hang on to their captain would be a major blow for the Force, who face the Lions on June 5 next year.
Pocock is in the form of his life after playing a pivotal role in the Wallabies’ series whitewash of Wales last month. He outplayed potential Lions skipper Sam Warburton at the breakdown and will no doubt present one of the biggest obstacles facing Britain and Ireland’s elite when they head Down Under in 2013.
Even though his domestic campaign is now over for another year, Pocock is expected to be fully fit in plenty of time for the defence of his country’s Tri Nations crown next month.
The Wallabies begin the newly-extended Rugby Championship with a home tie with World Champions the All Blacks on August 18 and there has been no suggestion that Pocock’s groin strain will prevent him from playing his part in Sydney.