Mercifully, the Waratahs’ Annus horribilis is over after a 40-7 capitulation to the Chiefs left a once proud state with an ugly 0-13 Super Rugby season to enter into the record books.
But rubbing salt into an already gaping wound, two of the club’s expected Wallabies are now unlikely to play against France next month after flanker Lachie Swinton was red carded and centre Izaia Perese sustained a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will now be scrambling for answers as he prepares to reveal his squad live on Stan Sport at 1.30pm AEST on Sunday.
The only place rugby fans can watch every match is on Stan Sport. Start your free sport trial now!
Swinton’s act of frustration towards Chiefs rival Lachlan Boshier was boneheaded and comes after he was sent off on debut against the All Blacks last year.
“Normally in the wheel of suspensions it’s an automatic three weeks,” former Wallaby Morgan Turinui said on Stan Sport.
“He won’t get the discount of three because of the red card he received for Australia, I wouldn’t think so.
“If he does get found guilty he may have six weeks on the sideline.”
READ MORE: Blues book home Super Rugby final against Highlanders
READ MORE: Ref’s shocking call leaves Reds players laughing
READ MORE: Injury grounds Vunivalu for France Test series
Thankfully for Rennie, Brumbies blindside Rob Valetini is in the middle of a breakout season and will surely join captain Michael Hooper and Harry Wilson in the starting backrow.
Perese was also enjoying a breakout campaign and his setback is sad for a player who was starting to find himself both on and off the field.
It could also open the door for Rebels outside back Andrew Kellaway, who had an excellent defensive game playing at centre against the Crusaders on Saturday.
“If it is (dislocated) then he’s not going to be in that squad but I’m sure coach Rennie will have a list of options that will be ready,” former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said on Stan Sport.
“It’s next man up.”
Meanwhile, Cheika said the Waratahs simply had to suck up the pain of 2021 and get better after watching Sean Wainui torch them for a record five tries.
“Undermanned, under resourced at the end of the day, at the end of a really difficult season for the Waratahs,” Cheika said.
“For one player to score five tries in a game, it rubs a bit of salt into injury really.
“But it’s time to plan for next season at the Tahs, let that go.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!