Liam Williams: Wales full-back set to miss South Africa semi-final after injuring ankle in training

Leigh Halfpenny is set to replace the full-back

Harry Latham-Coyle
Thursday 24 October 2019 15:49
Comments
Rugby World Cup 2019 in numbers

Liam Williams has emerged as a major doubt for Wales’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa.

The full-back is believed to have injured his ankle in training ahead of the game.

Williams has emerged as an increasingly key player for Wales over the last few years, initially on the wing and now in the 15 shirt.

He has started four of Wales’ five games at the World Cup, scoring in the wins over Georgia and Fiji.

But with his ankle injury appearing to be serious, Leigh Halfpenny is likely to be named to start at full-back for the semi-final against the Springboks.

Wales are fortunate to have two British and Irish Lions full-backs in their squad, with Halfpenny a more-than-able deputy, but they will miss Williams’ ability to counter-attack, particularly in a game that is expected to be forward dominated and decided by a few moments.

Halfpenny will add a long-range kicking option, and, indeed, a reliable alternative to Dan Biggar from the tee if required.

Capped 84 times for Wales, Halfpenny started Wales’ last World Cup semi-final, against France in 2011.

Wing Owen Lane was called up to the Welsh squad earlier in the week - replacing back-rower Josh Navidi – giving Wales further back-three depth if needed.

Jonathan Davies is expected to be fit to start the semi-final after pulling out of the starting lineup ahead of the win over France.

Warren Gatland names his team for the semi-final on Friday morning.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in