Wales left to scrape barrel for backs but Henson not in line for recall

Liam Williams was 10th back to be ruled out of Warren Gatland’s World Cup squad

Bristol’s Gavin Henson playing an  IPA Championship match last February. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bristol’s Gavin Henson playing an IPA Championship match last February. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

 
Wales

today name the replacement for Liam Williams who, after suffering the recurrence of a foot injury during the weekend defeat by Australia, became the 10th back to be ruled out of the tournament, but it will not be Gavin Henson.

There is only one fit back who went on the summer training camps to Switzerland and Qatar but is not in the Wales squad, Rhys Patchell, but he is an outhalf and that position is already well covered.

The 33-year-old Henson, who has never played in a World Cup, is playing Championship rugby for Bristol and has not been involved with the Wales squad since suffering an injury in a warm-up match against England before the 2011 tournament, but he will not be called up because he is not considered an option at full-back or on the wing where cover is needed.

With Williams joining Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb, Eli Walker, Corey Allen, Hallam Amos, Scott Williams, Tom James and Jack Dixon on the list of backs ruled out of the World Cup either during the tournament or before it, the options for head coach Warren Gatland outside his training squad are thin, although Tom Prydie and Dafydd Howells have been capped.

“Warren is discussing who the best candidate would be with the backs coaches,” said the Wales forwards coach, Robin McBryde.

“It would be a big ask to bring in someone who has not been part of our World Cup preparations, but it is not impossible and has been done before.

“You think back to the last World Cup when Stephen Donald played for New Zealand in the final and in as important position as fly-half as well.”

Scotland forwards Ross Ford and Jonny Gray have been cited for alleged foul play during Saturday’s 36-33 victory against Samoa that sent them into the quarter-finals, where they will play Australia.

Guardian Service

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