Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper is facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines after suffering a ruptured Achilles’ tendon during Australia’s 41-26 victory over Argentina in Mendoza.
Cooper was one of Australia’s best players in the first half of Sunday morning’s Rugby Championships contest, but his Test match came to a premature end in the 48th minute.
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The veteran playmaker slipped on the turf while in attack near the Pumas tryline, clutching at his leg and rolling on the turf in agony.
He was eventually helped off the field by medical staff and replaced by Reece Hodge. Wallabies teammates consoled the 34-year-old as he limped towards the sheds.
“You hope it‘s not Achilles – that’s how some of them are done,” former Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui told Stan Sport.
“A ruptured Achilles, that‘s how those actions sometimes look like.”
Cooper, who missed Australia’s recent Test series against England with a calf injury, was later spotted in a moon boot.
And in a huge blow for his World Cup hopes, it was later confirmed that the Australian star had ruptured his Achilles’ tendon.
His Rugby Championship campaign is presumably over.
Cooper joins a lengthy list of Wallabies in the casualty ward, with Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, and Samu Kerevi and Angus Bell also falling to injuries this season.
“We‘ve had a reasonable run of injuries haven’t we?” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie told reporters after Australia’s 15-point triumph.
“I thought we were far more clinical and I’m happy with how we finished.
“We’ve got more in us but I’m really happy with the character we showed after late changes and losing a key guy within the game.”
Meanwhile, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper withdrew from Sunday’s Rugby Championship opener against Argentina, returning home due to personal reasons.
James Slipper led the Australian side in his absence.
“It was tough,” Slipper said.
“Most of the game we were behind. It was a real proud moment for me and the team because we wanted to put in a performance the fans would be proud of but also our captain Hoops would be proud of. We were thinking about him all day and we were playing for him tonight.”
The Wallabies will next face the Pumas at Estadio Bicentenario on Sunday, August 14, with kick-off scheduled for 5.10am AEST.