sport

Genia to undergo ankle surgery

Australia's Will Genia will undergo surgery on his ankle and could miss the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury while playing for club side Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby fixture against Wellington Hurricanes at the end of April.

He carried it into training with the Wallabies for their three-Test series against France and has not featured in either of the home side's victories in the first two matches.

The Australian Rugby Union revealed in a statement that Genia will now undergo surgery and could miss up to eight weeks, which would leave him short of match fitness ahead of his side's Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand on 16 August.

"Scans late last week confirmed a pre-existing injury to the upper part of his ankle had not healed sufficiently and as a result medical staff from both the ... Wallabies and Queensland Reds agreed that surgery would be the best course of action," said the ARU said in the statement.

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie added in the ARU statement: "Will has demonstrated enormous mental fortitude to play through the injury although it has reached a point where it's important he gets it surgically repaired so that he can get back to 100 percent fitness.

"We've seen before how committed Will is when undergoing rehab and I would expect him to work hard to be available for selection when we begin our ... Rugby Championship campaign."

Brumbies' Nic White has started as scrumhalf in both of the Tests so far against France, with New South Wales Waratahs' Nick Phipps on the bench.

Genia's withdrawal has also opened the door for former Wallabies scrum-half Luke Burgess to join the squad and add to his 37 caps.

The 30-year-old Burgess played his last Test at the 2011 World Cup, but was in solid form for the Melbourne Rebels coming in to the June internationals.