Williams: ‘Wales is in mourning’

Date published: September 7 2015

Former Wales wing Shane Williams has questioned why Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb were risked against Italy.

The expected loss of both players from scans on Monday is a massive setback for Wales on the eve of the Rugby World Cup.

Halfpenny is one the most respected goalkickers in world rugby, while Webb has emerged as a star for Wales at scrum-half over the last two years.

Williams, who won 87 caps for Wales before retiring in 2011, described the circumstances as "horrendous" when speaking at the launch of ITV's World Cup coverage.

"It's just horrendous for Wales," said Williams.

"Rhys Webb has been the form player for Wales over the last two seasons. To lose Halfpenny as well, it's just a massive blow for Wales and it couldn't have come at a worse time.

"You kind of thought 'do we need this guy on the field? Let's wrap him up in cotton wool and roll him out when we really need him'.

"It is a massive blow and Wales is in mourning already. Especially with Halfpenny, he was strapped up on his leg anyway.