Some big names have been ruled out of the tournament

Rugby World Cup injuries are a subject that dominates headlines in the tournament. If a player’s World Cup has been ended by an injury it is a heartbreaking for them but sadly part of the game.

However, for the 2023 tournament the stories have been coming thick and fact before the tournament had begun. Over 15 players who the media and fans would have expected to be at the event are not because of injury/illness.

Here is a list of those headline names missing from the World Cup.

Rugby World Cup injuries: Headline players missing


There are two notable injuries for Australia with Len Ikitau and Allan Alaalatoa both out. Former captain Michael Hooper’s injury problems played a part in his non-selection too.


Ignacio Calles ruptured his Achilles and so will play no part in the World Cup.


Have a full strength squad.


Anthony Watson has been confirmed to be out of the tournament with a calf issue. He was replaced by Jonny May in the 33-man squad. It isn’t England’s only injury worry though with Elliot Daly also a doubt for the World Cup with a knee problem.

Scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet is also out of the tournament with Alex Mitchell called up in his place.


Have a full strength squad.


Romain Ntamack was ruled out after rupturing his ACL against Scotland in a warm-up match. Anthony Jelonch picked up a knee injury during the Six Nations but he has been named in the World Cup squad so he should play a part.

Rugby World Cup injuries

Romain Ntamack looks on (Getty Images)


Georgia are still sweating on the fitness of flankers Beka Gorgadze (MCL) and Beka Saghinadze but both have been named in the 33-man squad for the tournament.


Dan Sheehan’s early departure against England has given Andy Farrell a fitness scare but the first-choice hooker is expected to be fit for the tournament and was named in the squad.

Cian Healy has also been ruled out because of injury, Munster prop Jeremy Loughman comes in.


Tommaso Menoncello, Edoardo Padovani, Leandro Marin and Gianmarco Lucchesi are all out with injury.


Uwe Helu and Shogo Nakano have been replaced in the squad because of “poor physical condition”.  Amato Fakatava and back row Kanji Shimokawa have been called up in their place.


Have a full strength team.

New Zealand

Sevu Reece and George Bower are the two big names from the New Zealand camp who are injured.

Tyrel Lomax had to be helped from the field against South Africa at Twickenham in the final warm-up game before the World Cup with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.


Have a full strength squad.


Mihai Macovei, Mihai Mureșan and Paul Popoaia have been replaced by Andre Gorin, Lama Sioeli and Taliauli Sikuea.


Have a full strength squad


Darcy Graham withdrew from the side to face Georgia with a tight quad but Gregor Townsend will hope it’s not too serious.

South Africa

South Africa have been hit with a trio of high-profile absences. Handre Pollard and Lukhanyo Am are injured while Lood de Jager has an illness. But all three have been included on a stand-by list for the tournament meaning they could still play some part.


Have a full strength team.


Have a full strength team.


Ken Owens has been ruled out of the tournament because of a back injury.

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