Taulupe Faletau has been ruled out for the remainder of the Rugby World Cup, with Wales also sweating over the fitness of fly-half Gareth Anscombe.
Faletau’s injury is a massive blow for Warren Gatland’s side, with the experienced back-rower breaking his arm in the match against Georgia.
The 32-year-old left the pitch in the 69th minute of Wales’ 43-19 victory as they secured top spot in Pool C, collecting 19 league points from a possible 20.
A big loss
Gatland described Faletau’s injury as “a big loss” and gave an update on Anscombe, who withdrew from the match after an injury in the warm-up and full-back Liam Williams, who left the stadium on crutches.
“He has broken his arm so he’ll be out [of the tournament],” the Wales head coach said of his number eight.
“We are just going to assess Gareth [Anscombe] over the next 72 hours, he has 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.”
Gatland added that the coaching staff will announce Faletau’s replacement in the coming days as they decide whether to call in another back-rower or a player in another position.
Dan Biggar and Liam Williams injuries
He also explained why Williams was on crutches.
“We’ve got a few sore players, particularly in the backs, after today’s game,” he said.
“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 quarter-final.”
The Wales boss also gave an update on Dan Biggar, who was not used from the bench.
“We did talk about bringing Dan on, but he was under a bit of an injury cloud,” he explained.
“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. We’re pleased for him to get a run, too.”