Mortlock’s Tri-Nations ends

A knee injury has ruled Australia captain Stirling Mortlock out of the remainder of the Tri-Nations.

Mortlock limped off against the Springboks at Newlands on Saturday, and scans conducted on Tuesday have revealed torn cartilage.

Mortlock will undergo knee keyhole surgery in Sydney on Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Before the severity of the injury was known, Australia coach Robbie Deans intimated that Adam Ashley-Cooper would shift to outside centre, with James O’Connor starting at fullback for the Test against New Zealand in Sydney in a fortnight.

The Aussies’ problems were compounded with news that utility forward Peter Kimlin will be out for the same period as he is suffering from nerve damage in his shoulder.

Mark Chisholm and Kurtley Beale have been included in the Wallaby squad in light of the injuries.