LIAM WILLIAMS has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup and will miss Wales’ semi-final with South Africa after the superstar full-back picked up an ankle injury in training.
Warren Gatland’s side will take on the giant Springboks on Sunday, but Williams won’t feature in Yokohama or in next weekend’s final if his team make it that far.
3 Full-back Liam Williams, centre, misses the rest of the tournamentCredit: AFP or licensors
3 Superstar Liam Williams helped Wales pip France 20-19 in the quarter-finalsCredit: Getty – Contributor
It is a huge blow to Wales’ chances of reaching the last two with Williams currently on crutches.
The 28-year-old has emerged as one of the leading full-backs in world rugby in the last year and has been in fine form in Japan.
Williams trained with Wales on Wednesday, but it is understood he suffered an ankle problem in that day’s afternoon session after it was closed to the watching media.
Wales will name their team to face South Africa at 3.30am (UK time) on Friday, but Williams won't feature with Leigh Halfpenny set to step in at full-back.
INJURY WOES MOUNT
Head coach Gatland is in his last campaign as Wales head coach, but his team’s prospects of beating South Africa have been diminished by injury.
Williams is now on the sidelines, flanker Josh Navidi has already been ruled out with a grade two hamstring tear, and there are fitness concerns over centres Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies.
Both Parkes and Davies are set to be named in the side to face South Africa, but the pair have been struggling with hand and shoulder and knee injuries respectively.
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Davies was a late withdrawal from Wales’ quarter-final win over France.
The loss of Williams is a monumental blow for Wales, but Gatland will be comforted to a degree by the fact he has a man of the class of Halfpenny to step in.
With 84 Wales caps and three British & Irish Lions tours under his belt, the 30-year-old Halfpenny is an experienced campaigner.