Australia's Drew Mitchell ruled out of World Cup
Australia will be without star winger Drew Mitchell at the World Cup after the 27-year-old dislocated an ankle and broke a bone in his leg on Saturday.
Mitchell fell awkwardly after colliding with an opposing player while turning out for New South Wales Waratahs in their clash against Queensland Reds.
"He [Mitchell] will be gone for the year," Waratahs coach Chris Hickey revealed after his team's 19-15 defeat.
The World Cup is being held in New Zealand from 9 September to 23 October.
The loss of Mitchell is a signifcant blow to the Wallabies' hopes in a tournament they last won in 1999.
Since making his debut against South Africa in 2005, the dynamic Mitchell, who can also play at full-back and centre, has scored 27 tries and boasts a total Test points tally of 135.
The former Reds and Western Force player had made a blistering start to Waratahs' Super 15 season, crossing six times since February.
However, his fine form was cruelly halted when, chasing a kick in the 19th minute of Saturday's match in Brisbane, he ran into the back of Reds loose forward Scott Higginbotham.
Mitchell screamed in agony as he went to ground, with television replays showing his foot at an unnatural angle before he was taken off the field by stretcher.
Waratahs captain Phil Waugh said the incident shook all the players.
"I think it rattled anyone who saw it," he said. "It was disappointing - you don't want to see that happen to anyone in the world in any sport."
Despite the seriousness of his injuries, though, Mitchell had not lost his sense of humour, later tweeting: "Was hoping tonight was going to be little more positive haha..Sorry about the squealing out there."