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Wales receive major injury boost ahead of World Cup quarter final

09 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Wales fitness coach Huw Bennett. Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Wales’ head of physical performance Huw Bennett says that Gareth Anscombe and Liam Williams are “recovering well” from injuries ahead of their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Argentina.

Fly-half Anscombe suffered a groin problem during the warm-up when Wales tackled Georgia on Saturday and withdrew 45 minutes before kick-off.

Full-back Williams, meanwhile, was on crutches after taking a blow to his knee.

And Dan Biggar, who was called on to the bench against Georgia but not used, has been continuing his recovery from a strained pectoral muscle that prompted an early exit during Wales’ record 40-6 victory over Australia.

On Anscombe and Williams, Bennett said: “They are good, recovering well.

“Liam was noted on crutches after the game, but that was just precautionary. And Gareth, it was upsetting to make a last-minute call, but he is recovering well.

“As far as I am aware everyone is available for selection.”

Number eight Taulupe Faletau suffered a broken arm in the Georgia match and will take no further part in the tournament.


Wales, though, are happy with their back-row options, and scrum-half Kieran Hardy has joined the squad as a replacement, adding to resources in that position alongside Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams.

Bennett added: “Kieran was a big part of our group in the 54-man (training) squad in the camps.

“We have been keeping tabs on players on the short-list, making sure they are ready to go.

“Kieran is a great professional, so on that basis we are happy to see him coming into the group and he has got a great relationship with the players as well.

“It has been well-documented – losing Taulupe Faletau is massive for Wales. He is a big character and leads by example.

“After the (Georgia) game we were happy for the victory, but losing Taulupe put a sobering stamp on things.”

Wales face the Pumas in Marseille on Saturday. It will be the countries’ first World Cup meeting for 24 years.

“This is what it is all about,” Bennett said.

“We got together on May 25, we have commented on the dark places we’ve been to in training, and that tends to come up as a reminder in the changing rooms before a game

“It is doing the little things throughout the week. All the effort, all the sacrifices in the camps, all the little things count this week.”

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