Wales wait on injury news ahead of crunch clash with England

Wales wait on injury news ahead of crunch clash with England

Wales’ injury situation could become clearer on Wednesday as they continue preparations for a World Cup showdown with host nation England at Twickenham.

The Wales squad is now based in Surrey, from where head coach Warren Gatland will oversee the build-up to Saturday’s crunch Pool A encounter.

Centre Cory Allen this week became the latest Wales player to be sidelined from World Cup contention due to injury, following the likes of Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb, Rhodri Jones and Eli Walker.

And four others joined Allen in failing to emerge unscathed from last Sunday’s 54-9 victory over Uruguay, with full-back Liam Williams taking a knock to his thigh, Paul James and Samson Lee experiencing tight calf muscles and their fellow prop Aaron Jarvis suffering rib trouble.

“We’ve just got to focus on the task in hand, and there is no better opportunity to come up here and play England in their own back yard,” Wales flanker Dan Lydiate said.

“We’ve had more injuries than we would like, but it is just the way it goes sometimes. There are boys to come in to fill those places, and as a squad we are in a strong place.

“We have got a massive challenge this week, and we’ve just got to focus on each day and each game as it comes.”

Wales’ quarter-final ambitions will not stand or fall on what happens at Twickenham, but defeat would considerably increase their degree of difficulty in claiming one of two last-eight places from a group that also includes Australia and Fiji.

Lydiate’s back-row colleague Taulupe Faletau added: “It’s a tough group, there is no getting around that. It’s up for anybody to take it.

“Whoever gets through will be in good shape because they will have had competitive rugby from the start.

“All that competition can only benefit the two teams that get through to the knockout stages, and hopefully we will be one of them.”

Gatland will announce his starting line-up on Thursday morning, and injuries permitting, there appears to be just two major selection debates.

The New Zealander must decide whether to retain an out-of-form Alex Cuthbert on the wing or go for 20-year-old Newport Gwent Dragons back Hallam Amos, while the hooking berth is a straight battle between Scott Baldwin and Ken Owens.

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