Scott Higginbotham has become the latest Qantas Wallaby forward to be ruled out of the three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions.
The Melbourne Rebels No 8 dislocated his shoulder in last weekend’s Super Rugby defeat against Queensland Reds in Brisbane – ironically at the venue for the first Test, the Suncorp Stadium.
Scans have since revealed ligament damage which will require reconstructive surgery and, as a result, Higginbotham will not play again this year.
"The rehabilitation timelines are such that he is not expected to be fit to return to play until the start of next year's Super Rugby competition," said an Australian Rugby Union statement
Flanker David Pocock and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau have already been rueld out of the series, while lock Sitaleki Timani is also expected to miss the three games. George Smith and Digby Ioane are also struggling..
Qantas Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans recently drafted Western Force flanker Ben McCalman, Waratahs lock Kane Douglas and Melbourne Rebels scrum-half Nick Phipps into his squad and also invited Kurtley Beale to train with the squad in Sydney. He will draft in a further six players when he confirms his squad to face the Lions on 11 June.
Current Qantas Wallabies Training Squad
Backs: Berrick Barnes, Nick Cummins, Israel Folau, Joe Tomane; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Will Genia, Nick Phipps.
Forwards: Saia Fainga'a, Stephen Moore; Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, Benn Robinson, James Slipper; Kane Douglas, James Horwill, Rob Simmons; Dave Dennis, Liam Gill, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman, Ben Mowen, Wycliff Palu,