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Friday 9 December 2016

Welsh prepared for worst after last gasp win over England

Wales' Hallam Amos leaves the field of play with an injury during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London
Wales' Hallam Amos leaves the field of play with an injury during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London

Wales’ injury-ravaged World Cup campaign looks set to take another major double hit.

Centre Scott Williams and wing Hallam Amos suffered knee and shoulder injuries, respectively, during the stirring 28-25 Pool A victory over World Cup hosts England at Twickenham.

And the signs do not look promising for Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who has already lost the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb and Cory Allen from his original 31-man squad.

Speaking yesterday at the Wales team base, assistant coach and defence specialist Shaun Edwards confirmed there is potential for fresh injury setbacks.

“Potentially, we could lose more, there is no doubt about that,” Edwards said. “But we just have to keep showing the resilience we have shown so far in the competition. We have to dust ourselves off and get on with it. Hallam Amos (suspected dislocated shoulder) and Scott Williams are definitely the biggest concerns, long-term. They are the ones who are the biggest concerns.”

If worst fears are confirmed with Williams and Amos, it could mean calls for the likes of James Hook, Gareth Anscombe or Tom Prydie, but unbeaten Wales have little time to lick their wounds, with Millennium Stadium visitors Fiji next up on Thursday.

Situation

“We would probably look first at the original (training) squad, but we are in a situation now where we might have to spread our wings even further,” Edwards added. “Everybody is in our thoughts because we have had an incredibly bad run of luck with injuries. I don’t think we will be resting too many players (against Fiji), but obviously that is down to the boss (Gatland).

“We do have quite a long turnaround between the Fiji game and the Australia game (on October 10), so the boys will get rested next weekend.”

Full-back Liam Williams, meanwhile, was concussed after England flanker Tom Wood’s swinging leg made contact with his head, which could conceivably threaten his participation against Fiji and Australia.

“There was definitely contact between part of Tom Wood’s body and Liam’s head,” Edwards said. “It is something we are going to look at, with regards to citing.”

Wood took to Twitter early yesterday to apologise: “really relieved to hear ur back on ur feet ok mate.Horrible to see u stretchered off because of me.Hope u hav a speedy recovery.”

Liam Williams was walking and celebrating in the changing room after the match.

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