Jorgensen’s RWC dreams in doubt after devasting knee-injury, Brumbies sweating on Alaalatoa


A week after Tim Horan declared Max Jorgensen a certainty in Eddie Jones’ Wallabies plans this year, the 18-year-old’s World Cup hopes are in serious doubt following a knee-injury against the Crusaders.

The talented teenager, who burst onto the scene by scoring a stunning double on debut, was forced off early in the Waratahs’ heavy loss to the defending champions in Christchurch on Saturday.

Jorgensen had attempted a pilfer at the ruck but came off second best and later looked solemn on the sidelines.

While the full extent of his knee-injury is yet to be revealed from scans, it’s understood Jorgensen not only suffered an MCL injury but also a partial rupture of his ACL.

Max Jorgensen’s Super Rugby season is all but over after a devasting knee-injury against the Crusaders at Orangetheory Stadium on May 27, 2023, in Christchurch. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Jorgensen will meet with specialists over the coming days to determine the full severity of the injury and the best path forward for the fullback, but the Waratahs are quickly coming to grips that they will be without their star fullback for the rest of the season.

His devastating injury comes just a week after delivering his best performance in a blue jersey against the Fiji Drua in Sydney.

Jorgensen played a strong part in four tries, delivering the final pass in three of the Waratahs’ four five-pointers. His classy performance justified his selection in Jones’ April training camp.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones talks with Max Jorgensen during an Australia Wallabies training camp at Sanctuary Cove on April 17, 2023 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones talks with Max Jorgensen during the Wallabies’ training camp at Sanctuary Cove on April 17, 2023 in Gold Coast. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

It led to Horan, who made his debut against the Springboks as a 19-year-old and went onto win his first World Cup two years later, declaring him firmly in Jones’ plans.

“I think there’s a big step up from school-boy rugby to Super Rugby, but also there’s a massive step up from Super Rugby to Test footy,” Horan said in commentary for Stan.

“I think Eddie Jones will certainly have him in the Wallabies squad. That’s the best game and the most complete game I’ve seen from Max Jorgensen this year.

“Just his kicking game, the way he ran, the defence, he made a couple of crucial tackles, but also his off-loads for a couple of those tries was really important.

“I think he’s seeing the game a little bit differently in the 15 jersey compared to when he’s on the wing.

“He’s got some confidence and I hope, I really hope that you look against the Crusaders next week and they pick a full-strength team.

“They can just pit themselves against one of the best teams in the world in New Zealand.”

Max Jorgensen had been in stunning form for the Waratahs in his debut season. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Waratahs have few other options at fullback, with Kurtley Beale currently stood down.

Harry Wilson covered Jorgensen at fullback on Saturday, but his lack of experience in the role was on show as the Crusaders easily won the kicking battle.

Following Tane Edmed’s return via the bench, Waratahs coach Darren Coleman could also shift Ben Donaldson to fullback in a return to the 10-15 axis that started the year before the playmaker’s back injury forced a reshuffle.

Whichever way Coleman turns, the Waratahs will have just a week to get their attacking structure back on track with the men in blue to take on Moana Pasifika on Saturday before a likely trip back across the ditch to take on the Blues in Auckland in a quarter-final.

Allan Alaalatoa of the Brumbies

Allan Alaalatoa is in doubt to take on the Rebels following a calf injury suffered during the Brumbies’ loss to the Chiefs on Saturday. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Brumbies – and the Wallabies – are also sweating on tight-head prop Allan Alaalatoa’s calf.

The Wallabies prop, who captained Australia against Italy last November, was forced off early in the second half with a calf injury.

He will get scans on Monday, with the Brumbies to host the Rebels in their final fixture of the regular season.

After back-to-back defeats, the Brumbies are likely to finish fourth in the regular season meaning they will likely face a much sterner test in the quarter-finals against the Hurricanes.

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