Petaia's Super Rugby season over with shoulder injury

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Luckless Reds youngster Jordan Petaia is set to miss the rest of the Super Rugby season with a shoulder injury.

The Reds confirmed on Wednesday that a shoulder dislocation Petaia suffered while the team were in Argentina would require surgery, sidelining him for up to 20 weeks.

That timeline effectively ends his Super Rugby season after just two games for the second year in a row and puts him in serious doubt for the Wallabies July Series.

Petaia underwent scans yesterday after arriving back in Brisbane with his Reds teammates on Monday night.

Further consultation today with surgeons and Reds and Rugby Australia medicos determined he will go under the knife for a full reconstruction and spend up to 20 weeks on the sidelines in rehabilitation.

It's another blow for the 19-year-old, who suffered a Lisfrancs injury to his foot last year, forcing him out of all but the first two games of the Super Rugby season.

But his dedication to his rehab and enormous talent was rewarded with a World Cup spot, where he made his Wallabies debut and showed himself to be a rising star of Australian rugby.

The shoulder injury will all but certainly rule him out of the series against Ireland in early July and while the rehab timeline roughly coincides with the Wallabies' Test against Fiji in Townsville later that month, it's likely to be a big ask for a player with just 160 minutes of rugby behind him this season.

His return is more likely to come sometime during The Rugby Championship in August and September, although his age and injury history would suggest a kid glove approach may be more appropriate for Pataia, whose body has unfortunately let him down on several occasions in his young career.

While his talent would be a massive boost to the Wallabies' Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup hopes, he could yet be rested through until the Spring Tour if he suffers any complications with his recovery.

The news is a massive blow for the Reds, although the emergence of Hunter Paisami, who stepped into Petaia's shoes for the match against the Jaguares and won players' player honours, is a silver lining.

Petaia's absence exposes an already rejigged Reds backline to more changes with the team desperate for stability as they chase a maiden win this weekend to get their season back on track.