Rodda’s Force comeback on ice after training mishap

Justin Chadwick and Melissa Woods |

Izack Rodda has been named in the Western Force line-up to take on the Hurricanes on Friday night.
Izack Rodda has been named in the Western Force line-up to take on the Hurricanes on Friday night.

Wallabies lock Izack Rodda’s highly-anticipated return looks set to be put on ice after he injured his quad at Western Force training on Wednesday.

Rodda, who has missed most of the past 18 months due to a series of stress fractures in his right foot, was named in the Force’s starting line-up for Friday night’s Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Hurricanes in Perth.

But those plans are now up in the air after Rodda injured his quad at training just moments after the team was released.

The 27-year-old will undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Although he hasn’t been officially ruled out of the season-opening match just yet, it seems highly unlikely he’ll play.

Izack Rodda.
Izack Rodda has been struck down by another injury ahead of the Force’s Super Rugby Pacific season. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Captain and fellow lock Jeremy Williams has already been scratched due to concussion.

Last season’s skipper Michael Wells and new recruit Nic White will take over the captaincy duties this week.

White will pair with Ben Donaldson in an all-Wallabies 9-10 combination.

Fellow recruits Tom Franklin, Will Harris and Harry Potter have also been named in the starting XV.

The number of club debutants this week could rise to as high as eight if Ben Funnell, Lopeti Faifua and Tiaan Tauakipulu are introduced off the bench.

Force playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa will miss the next 10-12 weeks after undergoing surgery on Monday to repair the elbow he dislocated.

Siosifa Amone (thumb, 6-8 weeks), Felix Kalapu (hamstring, seven weeks), Harry Hoopert (knee, 3-4 months) and Angus Wagner (knee, seven weeks) are other Force players on the sidelines.

The NSW Waratahs’ coach Darren Coleman has opted to ease exciting youngster Max Jorgenson back from injury through the reserves in their clash with the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Joey Walton will start at fullback, while new Queensland coach Les Kiss has also pulled a surprise in the No.15 jersey, opting for Jordan Petaia ahead of Jock Campbell.

Joey Walton.
NSW flyer Joey Walton shows some pace to get around a Moana Pasifika defender. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)

Reds playmaker Tom Lynagh has seen off the challenge from teenager Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, who is in line for a Super debut from the bench after Lawson Creighton was overlooked for the match-day 23.

“I’ve got good options at No.10 and this week it is Tom Lynagh’s opportunity,” Kiss said.

“He’s familiar with what it takes at Super Rugby level after his debut season in 2023 and he’ll bring that experience to the game.”

Lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will make his Melbourne Rebels debut in the second row for Friday night’s home clash with the ACT Brumbies, while fellow star recruit Taniela Tupou is set to make an impact from the bench.

Capped England halfback Jack Maunder is among the new faces in the starting side, alongside ex-Red Filipo Daugunu, who is at No.13.

The Brumbies have named a familiar line-up with stand-in captain Ryan Lonergan in the halves alongside Noah Lolesio, who will renew his spicy battle with Rebels playmaker Carter Gordon.