The Brumbies have confirmed first five-eighths Christian Lealiifano will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season after breaking his ankle in Saturday's win over NSW Waratahs.
The Australian conference leaders announced today the 25-year-old Lealiifano would undergo surgery and miss six months in a significant blow to their title hopes.
Lealiifano had also been strongly pressing his claim for a Wallabies jersey after a breakout season.
"That's it, he's gone for the season,'' Brumbies coach Jake White said in a statement.
"Whatever the outcome of the surgery, he won't be back for the Brumbies this year which is a big blow for both Christian and the team.
"It's not ideal, we spoke about it in the change room and it's not great but it's just another challenge that's been thrown up to the group.
"As far as fly-half stocks go we've still got Robbie Coleman and Zack Holmes so there are still quality options for us there.
''... The last thing Christian would want us to do would be to drop our heads.''
Saturday's win in Canberra left the Brumbies with a nine-point buffer at the head of the Australian conference ahead of the bye this weekend.