Incumbent NSW VB Blues fullback James Tedesco is out for the rest of the 2016 season after a Ryan James forearm broke his jaw in the Wests Tigers' one-point loss to the Gold Coast Titans.
It is extremely disappointing for Tedesco, who was having a season to remember, which included making his Origin debut in Game III in the VB Blues' victory over Queensland in the dying minutes.
Tedesco requires surgery on his jaw this Wednesday, and Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods delivered the bad news to Triple M yesterday.
"He didn't look too good on the field at the time," Woods told Triple M.
"He's got it broken in two spots and he's got to have an operation on Wednesday to reveal the full extent of the injury. At the moment, he's looking at six to eight weeks."
Tedesco will be fighting off some tough competitors if he wants to retain his no.1 jersey for next year's Origin campaign.
Alongside the likes of Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Lachlan Coote, Tedesco will now have to battle Jarryd Hayne in what will make an absorbing jostle for the fullback position.