Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales call-up wing Owen Lane to replace injured back-rower Josh Navidi

Navidi was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a hamstring injury against France

Harry Latham-Coyle@hlathamcoyle
Tuesday 22 October 2019 07:54
Rugby World Cup 2019 in numbers

Wing Owen Lane has been called up to replace injured back-rower Josh Navidi in WalesWorld Cup squad.

The 21-year-old, who can also play centre, made his Wales debut during the World Cup warm-up fixtures after impressing with the Cardiff Blues over the last couple of seasons.

He replaces Navidi in the 31-man party to prepare for Sunday’s semi-final against South Africa.

Navidi, 28, suffered a hamstring injury during the quarter-final win over France, and will miss the rest of the tournament.

He had started the quarter-final at number eight and played four of Wales’ five games in Japan.

With Wales still having five fit back-rowers in their squad, coach Warren Gatland has chosen to add a further option behind the scrum.

Centre Jonathan Davies pulled out of the France game with injury, while Josh Adams and Hadleigh Parkes have been ailed at times during the tournament.

Lane gets the nod ahead of specialist centre Scott Williams, with the athletic winger, one of the finest finishers in the Pro 14, able to cover outside centre.

“No, it won’t be a back-rower. Probably someone in the back-line,” Gatland said yesterday after the news of Navidi’s prognosis was revealed.

“We’ve got six back-rowers, and we’ve got five fit at the moment. We have been a little bit short in numbers in the backs, so it probably will be a back who comes out as a replacement.

“It’s a grade two hamstring, so it’s at least a couple of weeks.

“It’s disappointing for him (Navidi). Hopefully, we will keep him out here. Obviously, he loses his accreditation, but since he’s gone so far in the tournament it will be nice for him to stay out for the next couple of weeks.

“He has been very influential and important for us in the last year. It’s disappointing to have a player ruled out, but in saying that, these games are so physical and to have only one player ruled out at this stage is a real positive for us.”

Lane will join up with the squad on Tuesday.

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