Reuters - Sun, 01 Aug 12:14:00 2010
Australia's dwindling backline stocks suffered a further blow with centre Rob Horne ruled out of the remainder of Tri-Nations after scans in Melbourne revealed a small fracture in his right elbow.
The 20-year-old, who had been troubled by his arm prior to playing in the Wallabies' 49-28 defeat by the All Blacks in Melbourne on Saturday, would require surgery for the injury which also included ligament damage, the team said in a statement.
"It's bad luck for Rob, but he's made an encouraging start to his international career, starting in every test that we've played this year," Australia coach Robbie Deans said.
Horne's place in the 24-man squad heading to Christchurch for the follow-up match against the All Blacks has been taken by Queensland Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham.
Higginbotham, Western Force loose forward Ben McCalman and winger Cameron Shepherd would all fly to New Zealand on Monday to join the Wallabies after playing for their clubs on Saturday.
Horne joins injured wingers Digby Ioane and Peter Hynes on the sidelines, while fly-half Quade Cooper will miss the match as he serves out a two-week ban for a dangerous tackle during the Wallabies' win over South Africa in Brisbane last month.
Horne's absence may force a major backline reshuffle for the Wallabies who lack a specialist at 13.
Utilities Adam Ashley-Cooper and James O'Connor are possible candidates to replace Horne, opening the door for New South Wales Waratahs fullback Kurtley Beale or Shepherd to take a place in the starting 15.