Wales have suffered two more major World Cup injury blows with centre Scott Williams and wing Hallam Amos both sidelined for the rest of the tournament.
Scarlets midfielder Williams (knee) and Newport Gwent Dragons back Amos (shoulder) went off during the second half of Wales’ 28-25 Pool A victory over England at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Welsh Rugby Union announced that the pair have been released from the squad, with Gloucester back James Hook and Cardiff Blues’ Gareth Anscombe called up as replacements. Wales have now lost five injured players from their original World Cup squad, with Williams and Amos joining Leigh Halfpenny, Rhys Webb and Cory Allen.
The news about Williams and Amos had been widely expected since Saturday night.
In a statement, the WRU said: “Following the Rugby World Cup victory against England on Saturday, Scott Williams (knee) and Hallam Amos (shoulder) have sustained injuries that will preclude them from taking any further part in the tournament, and they have subsequently been released from the Wales squad.
“Both players are currently being assessed by specialists to establish an accurate prognosis.
“James Hook and Gareth Anscombe, who were both part of Wales’ Rugby World Cup training squad and featured in warm-up Tests ahead of the tournament, have been called into the squad as replacements.”
Hook, who has won 78 caps, will play in his third World Cup and could easily be involved against Pool A opponents Fiji on Thursday. He is a wonderfully versatile player, having played Test rugby as a full-back, centre and fly-half.
New Zealand-born Anscombe, meanwhile, has recovered from an ankle injury he suffered during Wales training last month. He made his Test debut in an August World Cup warm-up game against Ireland.
The WRU has also announced that full-back Liam Williams will not be considered for the Fiji game. Williams was concussed during the England match after red rose flanker Tom Wood caught him in the head with his boot. Wood subsequently received an official warning, rather than a citing.
Wales have climbed to second in the world rankings after Saturday’s thrilling victory, while the Rugby World Cup hosts have slumped to six after the chastening Twickenham defeat.
New Zealand remain top of the pile, while Australia, who face England on Saturday in a pivotal clash, drop from two to three.
Ireland are fourth and South Africa, who bounced back from their shock defeat against Japan to beat Samoa, are at five.