Wales in player crisis for All Blacks Test

The October Test between reigning Six Nations champions Wales and Rugby Championship winners New Zealand is in danger of becoming a dud as the former is set to be without a long list of players.

Wales Online has reported that at a conservative count, at least 21 Wales players will not be available for selection for the Test, which is scheduled to take place on 31 October.

This is either due to injuries or the players being based in England, as the Test will be played outside the international window, which means that the Premiership clubs do not have to release any of their Wales players.

This means that British & Irish Lions trio Dan Biggar, Taulupe Faletau and Louis Rees-Zammit will not be available, while Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Lydiate, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams are all recovering from injuries.

Those eight players contribute a total of 607 Test caps of experience.

Another Lions forward, Josh Navidi, is doubtful for the Test after suffering a shoulder injury during a Vodacom United Rugby Championship match against the Vodacom Bulls.

Rhys Patchell, Ashton Hewitt, Michael Collins, James Botham, Josh Macleod and James Davies are unlikely to be fit by the end of the month.

However, in better news for head coach Wayne Pivac, Lions front rowers Wyn Jones and Ken Owens, along with locks Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Beard, should be available for the Test.

Photo: Getty Images

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Dylan Jack