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Blow for Gatland's Wales as Navidi ruled out of remainder of World Cup

The Cardiff Blues back row injured his hamstring in yesterday’s dramatic win over France.

WALES BACK ROW Josh Navidi has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup in Japan.

The 28-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in yesterday’s dramatic quarter-final win over France and will now miss this weekend’s semi-final against South Africa after it was confirmed his tournament is over.

josh-navidi-leaves-the-field-injured Navidi was forced off injured yesterday against France. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It’s a blow for Warren Gatland’s side ahead of their final-four clash with the Springboks, although they have strong cover for Navidi in the shape of Ross Moriarty, who scored off the bench against the French.

Missing out on the semi-final and a potential final will be tough to take for Navidi, who has become an important figure for Gatland’s team in this World Cup.

Gatland said Cardiff Blues back row Navidi will be replaced in Wales’ 31-man World Cup squad by another player but hasn’t yet revealed who the call-up will be.

“Josh is no good, so he’ll be ruled out,” said Gatland in Tokyo today. “We’ll be looking to bring in a replacement tomorrow but we’ve just got to go through that process, go through World Rugby at the moment and send some stuff through to them and for them to agree for a replacement to come out.

“It’s a grade two [hamstring tear], so it’s a couple of weeks. Hopefully we will keep him out here. Obviously he loses his accreditation, but since he’s gone so far in the tournament it will be nice for him to stay out for the next couple of weeks. We’re just going through that with him.” 

“He’s been very influential and important for us in the last year. It’s disappointing to have a player ruled out, but in saying that these games are so physical and to have only one player ruled out at this stage is a real positive for us.”

The Welsh were missing key man Jonathan Davies in their quarter-final win over the French due to a knee injury but Gatland hopes to have the 31-year-old fit for Sunday’s meeting with the Boks. 

“He was touch and go for the weekend,” said Gatland of Davies. “He has been doing his rehab and recovery so hopefully, he will be up and running for training tomorrow.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Tokyo

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