Wales could be without 19 players for Australia clash on Saturday

Wales could be without 19 players for Australia clash with lock Will Rowlands and prop WillGriff John ‘unlikely’ to be passed fit for Saturday’s Test after suffering concussion

  • Injury-hit Wales face Australia at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday
  • Will Rowlands and WillGriff John are not expected to pass head-injury protocols 
  • Late calls will also be made on Tomas Francis, Josh Adams and Aaron Wainwright

Wales go into their final autumn Test against Australia ‘battered and bruised’ with 19 players set to be out injured – but are determined to fight on.

Their latest medical update was grim. Lock Will Rowlands and prop WillGriff John are not expected to pass their head-injury protocols in time, after concussions against Fiji, and late calls will be made on Tomas Francis (also concussion), Josh Adams (calf) and Aaron Wainwright (shoulder) who all missed Sunday’s 38-23 win.

It means Wales could be without 16 top forwards for the Wallabies – with Lions stalwarts Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau the main casualties – and cannot call up the likes of Samson Lee or Leon Brown as prop cover, as they are injured too.

Wales forwards WillGriff John and Will Rowlands (above) are ‘unlikely’ to face Australia

Forwards

Alun Wyn Jones (shoulder)

Ken Owens (back)

Taulupe Faletau (ankle)

Justin Tipuric (shoulder)

Josh Navidi (shoulder)

Ross Moriarty (shoulder)

Aaron Wainwright (shoulder)

Dan Lydiate (knee)

Josh Macleod (Achilles)

James Botham (shoulder)

Will Rowlands (concussion)

WillGriff John (concussion)

Tomas Francis (concussion)

Samson Lee (back)

Leon Brown (shoulder)

James Davies (concussion)

Backs

Josh Adams (calf)

George North (knee)

Leigh Halfpenny (knee)

‘There’s a team here who are battered and bruised off the back of the most challenging autumn that they’ve ever had,’ said forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.

‘We are probably as deep as we can go in nearly all positions there. The tanks right now are low, but I know that come the weekend we are going to be right and we are going to be ready for the fight, which it is going to be, against one of the best teams in the world, coached by one of the best coaches in the world.

‘It forces you to develop. It just makes us go deeper, try and find solutions and you find out about people.

‘There’s no excuses in this sport.’

Lions loose-head prop Wyn Jones may now have to cover tight-head, if Francis is not fit.

Players such as Taine Basham (above) and Ellis Jenkins have grabbed the chance to impress

Humphreys, despite it all, has been heartened by the performances of flankers Taine Basham and Ellis Jenkins, hooker Ryan Elias and prop Rhys Carré who will all play on Saturday.

‘It has turned out very similar to the last autumn, where we found out a lot about people,’ he concluded.

‘Rather than look at the negatives of we’re missing all these people, and has it maybe stopped us winning against particularly South Africa, the bigger picture is telling us we’ve got a team that can fight toe to toe with all those injuries and that’s a huge positive.’ 




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