The Wallabies have lost premier lineout jumper Rob Simmons for Saturday’s Rugby Championship decider against New Zealand as he is to undergo wrist surgery.
The 52-Test veteran will also miss next week’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland but is expected to make a full recovery from the scaphoid surgery before the Wallabies take on the USA in Chicago next month in the lead up to the World Cup.
His injury gives former skipper James Horwill a likely chance to return to the starting team, with no other player to be called into the squad for Saturday’s game at Sydney ANZ Stadium.
“Obviously we’re all disappointed to lose Rob,” said Wallabies coach Cheika.
“We’ve been able to build some real depth in the lock position, and Rob’s injury presents an opportunity for another player in the squad to stake their claim.”