Hodges ruled out

Australian Kangaroos centre Justin Hodges was today ruled out of the World Cup after scans revealed the extent of his shoulder injury.

The Brisbane Broncos star will now undergo a shoulder reconstruction following advice from a specialist. He could be sidelined for up to six months.

St George Illawarra Dragons' representative centre Matt Cooper has been short-listed as a likely replacement. Broncos utility back Karmichael Hunt is also rumoured to be under consideration.

In other news, New Zealand and Manly Sea Eagles centre Steve Matai was cleared to join the Kiwis squad after seeing a medical specialist in Sydney this week. Matai was also in doubt due a shoulder injury but was advised yesterday that he would not require immediate surgery.