The Wallabies have been dealt a shock blow on the eve of the third Bledisloe, with Izack Rodda set to undergo shoulder surgery that will rule him out for the remainder of the year.
Rodda gritted his teeth through a pair of solid starts against South Africa and Argentina with the knowledge that he was not 100 percent and now, presented with the choice of either playing through the remainder of the Test season or getting right for the start of 2018, the 21-year-old has chosen the latter.
Rodda has become a fixture in coach Michael Cheika's best 23 since making his debut against the All Blacks in Dunedin and had he pushed through, it's likely that he would have been capped five more times this year.
But doing so would have ruled him out for the first half of the Reds' 2018 Super Rugby campaign and it's understood that was a major factor in the decision to go under the knife this week.The loss of Rodda's strong carries and efficient lineout work will hurt the Wallabies in their quest to knock off New Zealand.
Cheika has chopped and change different second row partners for Adam Coleman but the Australian camp believed they had finally found the perfect fit when Rodda impressed in his first start alongside Coleman in Bloemfontein.
When one door closes another opens, though, and this will provide an opportunity for Rodda's fellow Queenslanders, Lukhan Tui and Rob Simmons.
The traditional school of thought would suggest Simmons gets first crack at making the spot his own on Saturday but Tui's huge impact with ball in hand could help fill the sizeable hole left in the Wallabies' attack by Rodda.
Tui is more similar to Rodda with ball in hand but Simmons has the edge when it comes to set piece time.
Australia takes on New Zealand on Saturday October 21, kicking off at 7pm AEST, 8pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.