Staying home after shoulder surgery
SHOULDER surgery looks set to keep Lismore junior Izack Rodda out of action until Super Rugby starts next season with the Queensland Reds.
It has been a whirlwind year for the 21-year-old who made his Super Rugby debut off the bench for the Reds and ended up playing for the Wallabies against the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup.
Rodda underwent surgery earlier this month which ruled him out the Wallabies spring tour of Europe when the squad was announced on Sunday.
Former Murwillumbah lock Rory Arnold was also ruled out of the spring tour with a knee injury while Yamba product Kane Douglas failed to earn a recall in the second row.
Promising flanker Jack Dempsey went down with a serious hamstring injury in a narrow win over the Alan Jones-coached Barbarians on Saturday.
Rodda would have been a certain starter in Europe with the squad including six uncapped players at an average age of just 25.
"I wanted to give the opportunity to two new younger guys (at lock) who have had good Super Rugby seasons,” Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.
"Rory (Arnold) has a tear in his muscle and it has come away from the quad so he will have an operation to fix that and he will be out for about four to five weeks.
"Jack has torn two tendons in his hamstring so he will have an operation to re-attach those and it's a three to four month return so he will be back next year for Super Rugby.
"These are important matches and we want to be build a consistent, winning mindset and that's something we want to pass on to next year's team.”
Rodda also missed out on a chance at a homecoming where he would have played for the Classic Wallabies against the Barbarians at Lismore last week.
He did, however, make a surprise appearance in his home town of Evans Head for the rugby club's junior presentation on Sunday.