Wales blow as Williams must miss Ireland and France clashes

By Sports Desk February 04, 2020

Wales full-back Liam Williams is set to miss the Six Nations matches against Ireland and France as he continues to be troubled by an ankle injury.

The British and Irish Lion full-back has been out of action since he was injured in training before the Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa last October.

Leigh Halfpenny donned the number 15 shirt in the absence of Williams in a 42-0 thrashing of Italy at the Principality Stadium last weekend and could get the nod again for a huge clash with Ireland in Dublin.

Wales will be hoping Williams is fit to return when they face World Cup runners-up England at Twickenham on March 7.

"He’s struggling a bit at the moment," Wales defence coach Byron Hayward said of Williams.

"It's probably a bit too early for Liam. We're looking at the fourth and fifth game in the Championship for when he'll be available.

"Certainly not [as soon as the defending champions hoped], but the boys went well last weekend, Leigh had a great game at full-back, though it would be nice to get Liam back, obviously."

Hayward did not rule out Williams getting some game time with Saracens before making an international comeback, saying in a news conference: "That will be governed by the medical team in terms of where he's at and how he progresses in the next couple of weeks. It's a possibility, certainly."

Related items

  • England to be without injured Archer for New Zealand series England to be without injured Archer for New Zealand series

    Jofra Archer has been ruled out of England’s two-Test series against New Zealand having suffered a setback in his return from an elbow injury.

    Pace bowler Archer made his comeback in domestic action for Sussex this week after undergoing surgery on his right hand at the end of March.

    However, a persistent elbow issue flared up while in action against Kent, with Archer unable to bowl during the final two days of the County Championship fixture.

    England confirmed on Sunday that the 26-year-old will now seek further medical advice over the next course of action, meaning he will not feature in either game against the Black Caps on home soil.

    "England and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand starting next month," an England and Wales Cricket Board statement read.

    "Archer, who returned to action for Sussex in the LV= Insurance County Championship against Kent this week at Hove, only bowled five overs in Kent’s second innings. He was suffering from pain in his right elbow when bowling and was unable to bowl in the final two days of the match.

    "The England and Sussex medical teams will now seek guidance, and Archer will see a medical consultant later this week to determine the next course of action on the management of his elbow."

    Archer bowled 13 overs in Kent’s first innings, taking 2-29 in a rain-hit contest that finished as a draw.

    He has 42 wickets at an average of 31.04 in 13 Test appearances for England, who have a home series to come against India later in the year.

  • All Blacks great Read retires from rugby All Blacks great Read retires from rugby

    All Blacks great Kieran Read has retired from rugby.

    Read had said he would end his career at the end of the Japan Top League season, and his Toyota Verblitz side suffered a 48-21 semi-final defeat against the Panasonic Wild Knights on Sunday.

    In a post on social media, Read said: "I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family."

    "Thank you to the @toyotaverblitz team for the friendships I will hold onto for my lifetime, it's been a challenging time for everyone involved but proud of the direction we are heading," Read wrote on Instagram. 

    "Also, a massive thanks to all the fans of rugby in Japan for your support."

    Read was part of two New Zealand World Cup-winning sides, earning 127 caps for the All Blacks to put him third all-time in that regard. Richie McCaw tops the list with 148 Test caps.

    He played 52 of his Tests as skipper and was the 66th captain of New Zealand. Only McCaw (110) made more appearances as captain of the All Blacks.

    With 107 victories, Read is one of only five players to win 100 Test matches, along with fellow All Blacks McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Sam Whitelock.

    His run of 19 consecutive victories as All Blacks captain from 2012 to 2016 is a record.

  • Super Rugby: Crusaders & Chiefs cling on as Blues thrash Rebels Super Rugby: Crusaders & Chiefs cling on as Blues thrash Rebels

    Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders survived a second-half fightback from the Brumbies to start their Trans-Tasman campaign with a dramatic 31-29 win.

    The Crusaders appeared to be on course for a comfortable victory when they led 19-7 at the interval thanks to tries from Ethan Blackadder, Richie Mo'unga and David Havili.

    Irae Simone's try and five points from the boot of Noah Lolesio trimmed the gap to two points after the break, only for Brendon O'Connor and Cullen Grace to cross to restore the Crusaders' measure of command.

    But Tom Banks' try and Lolesio's conversion restored hope for Super Rugby AU runners-up the Brumbies, who then moved within two points of sending the game to extra time when Tom Wright's inside pass sent Rob Valetini over in the last minute.

    However, this time Lolesio could not find the desired accuracy from the tee, his kick from the sideline sailing just wide of the left-hand post as the Crusaders clung on.

    There was a markedly similar end to the Chiefs' 20-19 victory over the Western Force.

    The Chiefs led 10-7 at half-time and tries from Nathan Harris and Jonah Lowe appeared to put them in control.

    But Luke Jacobson's 66th red card, which came after he received a second yellow for slowing the ball down at the ruck, gave the Force new life.

    They made their one-man advantage count three minutes later as Richard Kahui went over and had a chance to snatch victory at the last after Domingo Miotti crossed.

    Miotti, though, could not convert his own try, sending the attempt agonisingly wide of the uprights.

    That kick ensured it was a clean sweep for New Zealand sides over their Australian opponents, the Blues having run in eight tries in trouncing the Rebels 50-3 earlier in the day.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.