Lille, FRANCE — Wales star Taulupe Faletau has suffered a broken arm and will miss the rest of the Rugby World Cup while they are also monitoring Gareth Anscombe and Liam Williams’ injuries following their 43-19 win over Georgia on Saturday in Nantes.
Wales secured top spot in Pool C thanks to their bonus point win over Georgia, where Louis Rees-Zammit scored a hat-trick alongside scores from Liam Williams, Tomas Francis and George North, but the win was overshadowed by Faletau’s injury.
Anscombe suffered a groin injury in the warm-up, while Williams left the stadium on crutches. Faletau picked up his arm injury in the 69th minute of the match with Warren Gatland later confirming the prognosis. It’s a bitter blow for Wales as they turn attention to their quarterfinal in Marseille next weekend with Faletau a key player.
“We felt that he was starting to come back to his best. He was excellent last week in terms of his footwork and carrying and stuff, taking kick-offs and giving us some go-forward as well,” Gatland said.
“It’s a big loss for us. We’ll just have to make a decision in terms of how we look at the balance of the back row going forward and in particular for next week.”
Wales are also monitoring Anscombe’s injury after he pulled up in the warm-up with a groin injury. “We’re just going to assess Gareth over the next 72 hours,” Gatland said.
“He’s pulled his groin very high up. Talking to the medics, he’s got a bit of power still in his leg which is a positive. It means he’s not pulled it off the bone. We’ll probably know in the next 48-72 hours what we need to do with him, whether we’ve got time for him to recover or we replace him directly.”
The late shift meant Sam Costelow started at fly-half, with Dan Biggar added to the bench. Biggar is recovering from a pectoral injury he sustained against Australia a fortnight ago.
“We did talk about bringing Dan on but he was under a bit of an injury cloud as well so it was good for young Sam Costelow to play 80 minutes and get through that and thrown in the deep end right at the start of the game,” Gatland said. “We’re pleased for him to get a run too.”
For Williams, the fullback is a doubt for their World Cup quarterfinal against either Argentina or Japan next weekend.
Gatland said: “We’ve got a few sore players, particularly in the backs, after today’s game. If you do see Liam Williams on crutches, it’s not that he’s done anything significantly bad. He got a whack on the knee and the medics, from a comfort perspective, have put him on crutches to save him walking around a bit.
“He’s got a knock and probably won’t take a huge part in training in the early part of next week. But hopefully he’ll be fit for the quarterfinal.”