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Wales set for further injury misery at the World Cup

Published 27/09/2015

Assistant coach and defence specialist Shaun Edwards says Wales' injured players are being assessed.
Assistant coach and defence specialist Shaun Edwards says Wales' injured players are being assessed.

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 on Sunday 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 and Scott Williams are definitely the biggest concerns, long-term. They are the ones who are the biggest concerns.

"But I think the resilience shown by these players means that if we have another player or two out of the World Cup, it just means someone else will step up and perform like we did last night."

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.

"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).

"One thing you find out about Welsh teams, or any rugby team to be honest, is that when you get some momentum you want to keep that momentum going.

"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.

Reflecting on the game - it was Wales' third win against England at Twickenham since Gatland took charge in early 2008 - Edwards saluted the players, who arrived back in Wales at 3am on Sunday and went straight into a cryotherapy chamber recovery session.

"Warren said that it's up there with some of the best games he has had in his life, and that includes the third Test with the Lions (in 2013)," Edwards said.

"I think it was the adversity the team came through. Even going in to the game, people knew that we had some world-class players missing. We then lost players as we were going along, and we were behind twice by 10 points.

"These lads are so dedicated and so professional in everything that they do. There is something you need in sport to be a great player or a great team, and that is resilience.

"Not everything is going to go your way. It's the same in life. Sometimes you just have to dig deep and show your resilience, that's what our guys did and good on them.

"Obviously, we have put ourselves in a good position, but the job is only half done and we are fully aware of that. We are still not definitely through even if we get the job done against Fiji on Thursday.

"We didn't come into this competition, after the bitterness from 2011 (World Cup semi-final exit), just to beat England. We came to go as far as we can, and that is still very much uppermost in our minds."

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