Karmichael Hunt has been ruled out of the Wallabies’ opening Bledisloe Cup Tests after undergoing ankle surgery.
The June Test debutant is expected to be sidelined for two months, which means he’ll miss Australia’s first four Rugby Championship clashes, including the first two Bledisloe Cup encounters in Sydney and Dunedin in August.
Hunt enjoyed a successful debut at inside centre for the Wallabies despite his team’s varying results, with his defensive intensity particularly noted.
His versatility and ability to play the second playmaker in conjunction with Bernard Foley added an attacking spark to the Wallabies backline.
The return of Kurtley Beale from overseas will greatly soften the blow as he was expected to take over at inside centre after Hunt started there last month.
Beale, who played for the English Club Wasps, was ruled out of the Wallabies June Tests after a hamstring injury during the Wasps semi final game against Leicester.
Last week, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika named Beale in the Wallabies training squad, and it was widely regarded that Beale would play at either the inside centre or fullback positions.