Warren Gatland will be searching for a new skipper after Wales suffered a significant injury blow during their preparation for the upcoming World Cup.
Veteran hooker Ken Owens has been ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from a back injury.
The 36-year-old captained Wales during the Six Nations and was likely to retain the leadership role in France, but has withdrawn from the team’s training camp. Sam Parry, who plays for the Ospreys, has been called up as a replacement.
Scarlets backrow Josh Macleod and Cardiff prop Will Davies-King have also been released from the squad due to injury.
“We gave Ken as much time as possible but his back has not recovered,” Gatland said.
“He might need an operation so he’s not going to be available for the World Cup squad.
“He’s been a great servant to Welsh rugby, but he wanted to reiterate he has not retired from rugby and he’s hoping if he recovers from that and gets himself right on the pitch, potentially he may be available if we pick up injuries during the World Cup.”
Owens is the latest high-profile Welsh player to be ruled out of the World Cup. In recent weeks, Gatland has lost the services of flank Justin Tipuric, lock Alun Wyn Jones and scrumhalf Rhys Webb to international retirement. Meanwhile, lock Cory Hill will not be available after taking up an offer in Japan, while prop Rhys Carre was dropped after not meeting performance targets.
Photo: Getty Images