Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe suffers a groin injury ahead of the clash with Georgia that threatens his participation in the rest of the tournament. Sam Costelow steps up
Wales suffered a massive setback ahead of their final Pool C match against Georgia. The warm-up saw fly-half Gareth Anscombe injured as he went through his kicking routine.
Anscombe, outstanding in the 40-6 Rugby World Cup rout of Australia, withdrew from the side with what was described by team manager Martyn Williams as a “tweaked groin”.
Sam Costelow was hastily promoted from the bench to the starting XV and Dan Biggar came onto the bench. Biggar has been nursing a pectoral injury.
The look of desolation on Anscombe’s face suggests the injury may be tournament-ending.
Sam Warburton, in the ITV studio, said: “We don’t know if it (the injury) will be a two-weeker or six months. It won’t change the way Wales play.”
Wales needed only one point against Georgia to win the pool. They have won three of the four previous meetings but lost 13-12 to the Lelos last autumn.
Warren Gatland’s team are set to play Argentina or Japan in next weekend’s quarter-finals.
Wales Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake (capt), Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Dafydd Jenkins, Aaron Wainwright, Tommy Reffell, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Christ Tshiunza, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Mason Grady.
Georgia Lasha Khmaladze; Akaki Tabutsadze, Girgi Kveseladze, Merab Sharikadze (capt), Davit Niniashvili; Luka Matkava, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Gurum Gogichashvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Nodar Cheishvili, Konstantine Mikautadze, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Beka Saginadze, Tornike Jalagonia.
Replacements 16 Vano Karkadze, 17 Nika Abuladze, 18 Irakli Aptsiauri, 19 Vladimer Chachanidze, 20 Giorgi Tsutskiridze, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Tedo Abzhandadze, 23 Demur Tapladze.
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