Rugby World Cup 2019: Taulupe Faletau ruled out of Japan with broken collar bone

British and Irish Lion will miss the full tournament in Japan after suffering a third serious injury inside a year following ‘an innocuous training ground incident’

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 01 August 2019 17:14
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Warren Gatland tells Wales fans: we can win Rugby World Cup

Wales forward Taulupe Faletau has been ruled out of the entire Rugby World Cup with a collar bone injury.

The 28-year-old, who has won 72 Wales caps to his name, sustained a third serious injury in under a year after twice breaking his arm last season, and leaves Wales heading to Japan next month without one of their key players.

A statement issued by the Welsh Rugby Union on Thursday said: “The injury was sustained in an innocuous training ground incident and will require surgery. A prognosis and return to play time frame will be established after surgery.

“The Wales squad and management would like to wish Taulupe the very best with his recovery.”

Faletau has not played for his country since the end of the 2018 Six Nations, having been rested from the summer tour of the United States and Argentina that year and missing both the autumn internationals and 2019 Six Nations due to a fractured arm.

The Bath No 8 initially broke his forearm in October last year, and suffered a recurrence of the injury in January this year that resulted in surgery and him missing the entire Grand Slam campaign.

The four-time British and Irish Lion did not play again in the Premiership but was named in Warren Gatland’s preliminary World Cup squad earlier this summer, and the expectation was that with the Tonga-born forward back to full fitness, he would have been one of the first names on the team sheet for Wales’ opener in Japan against Georgia on 23 September.

In his absence, the likes of Scarlets flanker James Davies and club colleague Aaron Shingler could force their way into Gatland’s final 31-man squad, while fellow Lions Ross Moriarty would be the logical replacement at No 8 after starting all five of Wales’ Six Nations matches in the position earlier this year.

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