- WSL / Tom Bennett

The last stop of the extended Australian leg of the 2021 Championship Tour has arrived with the much-anticipated Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona. With only a week's time between the last stop at Margaret River's Main Break and this next event at Rottnest Island's Strickland Bay, the injury replacement surfers and wildcards have been named.

John John Florence will miss the event due to the knee injury he sustained during the Round of 16 at Margaret River. He will be replaced in the draw by Stu Kennedy, who is next on the CT replacement list. A perennial giant slayer throughout his distinguished career, Kennedy will face a surging giant Jordy Smith and Aussie leadfoot Wade Carmichael when the event kicks off.

Taj Burrow won heat 7 of round two. Taj Burrow in the final appearance of his 20+ year Championship Tour career at the 2016 Fiji Pro. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Adrian Buchan will also be out due to a back injury. He will be replaced in the draw by Western Australian legend and longtime CT stalwart Taj Burrow. In his first heat, Burrow will enjoy a reunion of sorts with Brazilian veteran Adriano de Souza, who's enjoying his last lap around the world before retiring at season's end, and current World No. 2 Italo Ferreira.

Additionally, Mikey Wright will continue to surf in place of an injured Kolohe Andino, Liam O'Brien will take the place of an injured Kelly Slater, and Amuro Tsuzuki will surf again for an injured Lakey Peterson.

Stuart Kennedy at the 2019 Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre. Don't take Stuart Kennedy lightly. At the 2016 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast he beat John John Florence, Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater in a dream run that was cut short in the Semifinals by Kolohe Andino. - WSL / Ben Stagg

Both Andino and Slater have missed the entirety of the Australian leg with their respective injury issues. Wright hasn't finished better than 17th all season long and has bowed out in the Elimination Round twice. This will be O'Brien's first crack at a CT event. His best result this year is a third in the Qualifying Series' Port Stephens Pro presented by Mad Mex.

As wildcards go, Jacob Willcox has received the sponsor wildcard via Rip Curl. Wilcox also got a start at Margaret River, where he put together an impressive win in the Seeding Round against heavies Ferreira and Jack Robinson. He bowed out in the Round of 32 against Kanoa Igarashi in a heat decided by less than half a point.

Kael Walsh of Australia placed second in Heat 6 of Round 3 at the Uluwatu CT, 2018. Local trials winner Kael Walsh is no stranger to CT-level events, seen here at the 2018 Uluwatu CT / Margaret River Pro. - WSL / Ed Sloane

Emerging out of the local trials event is Kael Walsh and Mia McCarthy. Walsh has surfed in one other CT in his career, back in 2018 at the Uluwatu CT/ Margaret River Pro where he managed to win his Elimination Round heat handily over Matt Wilkinson. Walsh also surfed in the 2019 Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast.

Meanwhile, McCarthy, a West Oz native, has also previsously surfed at a CT-level, nabbing the wildcard into the 2019 Margaret River Pro and also winning the Mandurah Pro. She's been known to charge The Box and is not afraid to push over the ledge when it's pulsing -- a talent that will serve her well at Rottnest.

MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Mia McCarthy of Australia is eliminated from the 2019 Margaret River Pro with an equal 17th finish after placing third in Heat 1 of Round 2 at Main Break on May 31, 2019 in Margaret River, Western Australia. (Ph Mia McCarthy making the most of her wildcard opportunity at Margaret River in 2019. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

The waiting period for the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona starts on May 16. Keep it locked here for further updates and news.

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