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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

Johan van Graan has quietly set about improving every facet of the West Country club and results are starting to come

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Late withdrawal forces Wales to rejig their backline

By PA
Leigh Halfpenny /PA

Leigh Halfpenny was ruled out of Wales’ Autumn Nations Series opener against New Zealand less than 90 minutes before kick-off at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

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The British and Irish Lions full-back was withdrawn after aggravating his hamstring playing for the Scarlets.

Gareth Anscombe was switched to full-back, with Rhys Priestland starting at fly-half and Sam Costelow joining the replacements.

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Halfpenny has not played for Wales since suffering a major knee injury in his 100th international against Canada in July 2021.

A WRU statement reads: “Leigh Halfpenny has been withdrawn from the Wales starting XV following an aggravation of his hamstring injury sustained on club duty.

“Gareth Anscombe moves to fullback and Rhys Priestland will start at fly half.

“Sam Costelow joins the Wales replacements wearing number 22.”

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