Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore said on Sunday he will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury that has left him needing surgery following Australia’s 50-23 thumping of France.
In a further blow to the Wallabies following their comprehensive first Test victory over France on Saturday, lock Sam Carter was also ruled out of the rest of the three-match French series with a high left ankle strain.
Scans revealed that hooker Moore ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and medial ligament in the opening minute of the first Test win over France in Brisbane.
“I’m going to need some surgery to repair my ACL/MCL. Will get it fixed up and look to go again,” Moore tweeted.
It was a bitter blow for the Australian veteran, who was leading the Wallabies for the first time in his 92nd international.
Young flanker Michael Hooper took over the captaincy in the fifth minute of play when Moore was unable to continue.
He looks the likely candidate in Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie’s hunt for a new skipper for the second Test against France in Melbourne next Saturday.
“The whole year is gone … he’s obviously shattered,” McKenzie said of Moore’s injury.
“It leaves a bit of a void because we had put a lot of things in the pipeline.
“For Stephen, I couldn’t have been more pleased by how he carried himself as our captain during the week and with the contributions he was making on behalf of the team.
“He’ll work hard to get his knee right and will play a major role in our preparations for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.”
Moore injured his left knee after falling awkwardly while making a tackle on French flanker Bernard Le Roux.
The 31-year-old attempted to play on but was forced off the field by his injury, and was replaced by Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Moore will also miss the final games for the ACT Brumbies, who are lying fourth in Super Rugby with three games left until next month’s top-six play-offs in the southern hemisphere provincial championship.
Debutant Carter also received bad news following scans on a left ankle strain, but hopes to return for the Brumbies during the later stages of their Super Rugby campaign this month.
“That really gives you an idea how tough the bloke is,” McKenzie said.
“He showed great resilience and (the injury) didn’t show up at all (in his play).
“For Sam, he’s now got a taste of what Test Rugby is all about, and I’ve got no doubts he’ll continue to work hard to be available when we select our Rugby Championship squad next month.”
Former skipper James Horwill is likely to be Carter’s replacement at lock for what would be his 50th Test in Melbourne next weekend.