Ag College hooker Pat Lemmich has been ruled out of the Southern Inland grand final after picking up a foot infection.
Lemmich was hospitalised earlier in the week after a cut suffered in the win over Leeton last week became infected.
After undergoing treatment Lemmich will miss the decider against Waratahs on Saturday.
The 18-year-old is shattered to miss out.
“It’s not real good and a bit of a shame,” Lemmich said.
Lemmich trained with the team on Monday night before his foot swelled up.
He spent Tuesday night in hospital, where he had the foot drained, but was told not to play.
“They were pretty worried the infection could get into the bone,” Lemmich said.
“They said if I played the stress on it could.”
Coach Will Mitchell is disappointed the young talent won’t be able to take his place at Conolly Rugby Complex.
“I just feel so bad for Patty,” Mitchell said.
“He’s been there all year and he can’t even walk on his foot.
“To have an infection rule you out of a grand final is very cruel.”
In his first season at the club Lemmich has made quite the impact both on and off the field.
He’ll be missed as Aggies look to spoil Waratahs undefeated season.
“He’s been one of the first names you put down each week and our front row has been working really well together,” Mitchell said.
“Those meat heads have a pretty tight bond in the front row so it is pretty ordinary for Patty.”
Sam Chalmers comes in at hooker.
Chalmers has deputised at times throughout the year and Mitchell is confident he can step up to the mark.
“Sam Chalmers is a great young footballer and I’m sure he will play really well,” he said.
Despite the setback heading into the biggest game of the season, Lemmich has really enjoyed his first year in Wagga after joining the club.
“I’ve loved it,” he said.
“It has been a great year coming into uni and senior footy.
“It is much harder than juniors, but it has been a great club to be involved with.”