Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has revealed his “devastation” at missing out on the World Cup.
Warren Gatland’s men start their campaign on Sunday against Uruguay in Cardiff - but Halfpenny will not be involved following surgery to reconstruct the knee ligament which he ruptured in the warm-up match against Italy in Cardiff on September 5.
Reliving the incident in several national newspapers, the 26-year-old said: “As I planted my right leg I felt my knee jar. I heard something snap and I just remember being on the floor in agony. I was already thinking then it could be my World Cup done.
“The results came back pretty quickly. The physio said ‘it’s not great news, you have ruptured your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). You need an operation and it’s six to eight months out.’
“I was absolutely devastated. To be ruled out of a World Cup after going through all the tough training and being hugely excited to be part of it was devastating.
“Now it is about looking forward. Life goes on and for me that means getting back playing. I see it as it could be worse. It could be a lot worse. I’m just thankful that I will be back in six to eight months.”
As for suggestions the full-back should not have played against Italy with a heavily strapped right knee, Halfpenny added: “I was absolutely fine to play.
“The injury is not related to the strapping I had on. It helped with my kicking too. I had no doubts about taking the field for that game.”
However, the Toulon player does not believe his absence will prevent Wales winning the World Cup, adding: “I have no doubt we can go all the way.”