The Bath number eight has been blighted by injuries since the last World Cup, and will undergo another surgery with this latest problem. This has been a devastating blow for Wales, but typically after any injury, fans are starting to speculate on social media who will now replace the 72-cap forward in the squad.
With Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric guaranteed to go, and Aaron Wainwright likely to go, there is a battle between Shingler, James Davies and Ellis Jenkins (if fit) to make it into the squad. Given the hole in the squad that is left by Faletau, Shingler gets the nod from the fans due to his ball-carrying prowess.
As dominant as Davies and Jenkins are elsewhere on the field, Shingler’s physicality is what is now making him a favourite in this contest.
The Scarlets flanker has not been without injuries himself, as he missed the entirety of the season past with a knee injury. Such was the severity of this injury that the 31-year-old feared for his career at one time. However, he has been with Wales in their training camp in recent weeks, and should he show the form that he was before his injury in 2018, he is the favourite to make the World Cup now.
This is what has been said:
Shingler has to go if he’s fit, he can replicate the impact faletau has so we won’t lose it with navidi and tipuric at 8 and 7 in warm up games and if there’s an injury. Moriarty has been class for the last year just need to pray for no more injuries
— davos seaworth (@Josephconway8) August 1, 2019
While fans will always want to see the best players in a squad, factors that need to be taken into consideration are the personnel and skillsets of different players. Faletau was bound to make the World Cup, and now that he will not be, Warren Gatland’s task is to find the player that best replicates the 28-year-old, not necessarily picking the best option in the back-row after him. Shingler fits the bill, and could find himself in Japan after a troublesome year.
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