SYDNEY (AP) — Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White is set to miss Australia’s three-test rugby series against France next month after injuring his knee in training.

The 31-year-old White has started in 20 of his 37 test matches since his international debut in 2013, including all six last year.

His absence leaves Queensland Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott likely to make his starting debut in the first test against France on July 7 in Sydney. The 22-year-old McDermott earned two caps last year as a substitute against New Zealand.

The series against France will be the Wallabies’ first against European opposition since the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The 2020 international season was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 42-strong French squad arrived in Sydney and will complete a 14-day hotel quarantine ahead of the three tests in 11 days against Australia.

Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos said organizers remained confident of hosting the tests in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as planned.

“Appreciating that we continue to operate in a dynamic environment with COVID-19 impacts, we are moving ahead with our plans to host these matches as planned,” Marinos said in a statement. “We are now just two weeks away from the start of the series which kicks off with the Wallabies’ first match at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground in 35 years.”


More AP sports: and