Injury rules Wallabies prop Robertson out of World Cup
Wallabies prop Tom Robertson will miss this year's Rugby World Cup after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, but lock Izack Rodda is back on track for the showpiece event.
Western Force star Robertson tore the ACL in his left knee during last week's 34-19 win over the Brumbies in Perth.
The 28-year-old's standout form for the Force this season was rewarded last month when he was selected for Wallabies coach Eddie Jones' first training camp.
But Robertson's hopes of appearing in the September-October World Cup in France are now over after scans confirmed an ACL tear.
"The timing is really bad. He was playing some of his best rugby," Force coach Simon Cron said.
"We love him. Throbba is a big part of our team. He's a great man.
"He covers loosehead and tighthead. It's a big loss. But he's pretty strong, and he'll get through it."
Robertson will be 32 when Australia hosts the next World Cup in 2027 and Cron is backing his star prop to feature.
"We've talked previously, before his injury, and he was already talking about the next home World Cup. He's got that in his sights," Cron said.
"He's a smart human and a tough guy, so he'll get through it."
Robertson's Force teammate Rodda will take a major step towards proving his own fitness for the World Cup when he makes his return from a foot injury in Friday night's clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
Rodda re-injured his troublesome right foot during the Force's pre-season loss to the Fijian Drua in February.
It was the same foot on which Rodda needed surgery last year, with the injury ruling him out of the Wallabies' 2022 international season.
The 26-year-old will make his return via the bench against the Rebels, and a successful comeback would put him back on track for the World Cup.
"It's been a year since his last (official) game. He's been working hard in the background to get himself back into shape," Cron said.
"It's good to get a big body back in that team to add to the guys around him, and he brings a lot of experience.
"He brings big-game mentality."
Cron is confident Rodda will not be held back by the previous setbacks he's had with his foot.
"The strength and conditioning guys have been really hard on working him," Cron said.
"He would have built strength in that (foot) now, and he should be comfortable that he can go out there and do his job 10 seconds at a time as hard as he can.
"I don't think he will worry about (the previous injuries) too much."
The eighth-placed Force take on the Rebels (away) and ladder-leading Chiefs (home) in the final two rounds.