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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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'Like someone had shot him with a gun, you heard the rupture'

By PA
(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Wayne Pivac, who this Saturday is giving a belated Test debut to Josh Macleod, says Wales forwards Will Rowlands and Dan Lydiate will not return to action any time soon after suffering injuries during the Autumn Nations Series campaign. Lock Rowlands hurt his shoulder, while flanker Lydiate suffered a broken arm during the 20-13 victory over Argentina last weekend.

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“They are both seeing specialists,” Wales head coach Pivac said. “They are both out of this series, and they will not be back any time soon. They are both reasonably serious injuries. Obviously, we would like to think they will both be back at some stage during the Six Nations.”

While Rowlands and Lydiate begin the recovery process, Scarlets back row forward Macleod will prepare to make his Wales debut against Georgia on Saturday. It would have happened last year against Six Nations opponents Scotland, but he suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in Wales’ first training session after he was selected.

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Pivac added: “Any injury that takes you out of the first opportunity to play for your country is big, isn’t it? For that one [the achilles injury] I was standing about two metres behind him, he just accelerated from a standing start and it was like someone had shot him with a gun. You heard the rupture, so it was a nasty one.

“I remember saying to him, though, before he left the hotel that he should go away with the knowledge that this coaching group had selected him on his merits. I told him, ‘Work hard now and you will be stronger for it. When you come back, provided you are playing well, you will get another opportunity’.

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“He has gone away and worked very, very hard on his game, and it is a credit to him and the people around him because it is always medical people that do the unseen work and the strength and conditioning boys that help these guys get back. It is just a pleasure to see him back on the playing field. He is a lovely young guy and he works very, very hard at his game.

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“He is a very physical player, and I think the biggest step going from club to international is the physicality required, so it is going to be very interesting to see how that transfers for him.”

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