McCabe out for six weeks
Pat McCabe is confident Australia have the resources to cope with his absence during the first few weeks of the Rugby Championship.
The 24-year-old was set to take his place in the Wallabies' side for the inaugural four-team event, which has developed from the Tri-Nations to include Argentina.
But he has suffered a stress fracture to his lower left leg and will miss six weeks of action.
The Aussies kick off their campaign with a home fixture against New Zealand on August 18 and then travel to play the World Cup winners a week later and McCabe has admitted his disappointment at not being able to face the All Blacks.
But he is confident that coach Robbie Deans has plenty of back-up to call on with Adam Ashley-Cooper tipped as a possible replacement.
"The Tests against the All Blacks are the ones you'd most like to be involved in," he said. "It would have been a huge challenge and one I was definitely looking forward to, but I think we've got a number of guys who can fill that spot extremely well and they'll do really well."
Ashley-Cooper looks to be the next 'cab off the rank' but the 28-year-old admits that the coach has sprung the odd surprise or two when selecting teams in the past.
"History has shown that selection is always a mystery with Robbie Deans," he said. "So we'll have to wait until that week leading into the first game against the All Blacks to know who is actually playing at 12."