Wales flyhalf Gareth Anscombe has been ruled out of the World Cup after he sustained a serious knee injury in Sunday’s 33-19 defeat by England at Twickenham.
This has dealt a second major blow to Wales’ World Cup hopes after No 8 Taulupe Faletau was also ruled out earlier this month, after suffering a collarbone injury during training.
The New Zealand-born Anscombe, who featured prominently during a successful Six Nations campaign for the Welsh, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the World Cup warm-up fixture and was forced off the field before half time.
‘The Wales squad and management would like to wish Gareth the very best with his recovery,’ reads a statement on the Welsh Rugby Union website.
The 28-year-old, who recently moved from the Cardiff Blues to Ospreys, is likely to be replaced by the experienced Dan Biggar as the starting No 10. Rhys Patchell and Jarrod Evans look set to provide flyhalf cover for coach Warren Gatland, who will announce his 31-man squad for the World Cup in early September.
After missing the chance to take the top spot in the World Rugby rankings after losing to England at the weekend, Wales will face the English again this Saturday in Cardiff. The Welsh conclude their preparations with two further warm-up fixtures against Ireland on 31 August and 7 September.
Wales begin their World Cup campaign against Georgia on 23 September, three days after the opening game of the tournament. They will then take on group D opponents Australia, Fiji and minnows Uruguay.
Photo: EPA/Facundo Arrizabalga