WELLINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Promising Queensland Reds centre Jordan Petaia’s Super Rugby season is over while his World Cup hopes hang in the balance after the Australian suffered a torn ligament in his left foot against the Canterbury Crusaders on Saturday.
The 18-year-old limped off in the 16th minute of the match at Lang Park and an MRI scan late on Sunday confirmed that he had suffered a Lisfranc ligament injury.
He was expected to be out for at least four months, which had “rubbed out” his Super Rugby season, a Reds spokesman said on Monday.
It was too early to tell if Petaia, who was called into the Wallabies squad last year by coach Michael Cheika but was unable to play due to injury, would be fit enough for the Sept. 20-Nov. 2 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the spokesman added.
“Far too early really,” he said. “But with it being a World Cup he would need to be back to 100 percent and, with all of the changes of direction an outside back needs to make, it doesn’t look good.”
The loss of the teenager is a massive blow to the Reds, who have shown in their two games this season that they have improved under second-year coach Brad Thorn.
Petaia stood out in the Reds’ opening game against the Otago Highlanders with several line breaks and had looked to develop a promising partnership with captain Samu Kerevi.
The Reds have lost both of their games, against New Zealand opposition, by narrow margins and face the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ken Ferris)