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:
Faletau out, Shingler 100% going to world cup now then (if fit) and that could well be Jake Balls lifeline too
— K James (@KJames_21) August 1, 2019
Means Shingler almost definitely goes now, maybe Ellis Jenkins as a bolter. Back row depth is disgusting. Would have been worse if it was AWJ or Jon Fox.
— Robert Giannotti (@robertgiannotti) August 1, 2019
Huge shame about Faletau. But a big opportunity for another back-rower. Shingler's time to shine if he can stay fit?
— Elis Williams (@eliscellan) August 1, 2019
JD is huge- wrap him up
Shingler looking fit be like new signing #AdaptAndOvercome
— Rob Andrews (@bobbyandrews15) August 1, 2019
Imagine Shingler goes because he can cover lock and (obviously barring anything else "innocuous" happening) Wainwright is nailed on now
— Rhys Knott (@buck_mitchell) August 1, 2019
Means that shingler is nailed on to go RWC now as RM will be asked to play no 8 . Tom young should be called into squad before dan Lydiate great service to Wales but 1 trick pony game moved on
— Luke Hopkins (@hopkinsluke938) August 1, 2019
I’d go with Shingler 6, then use Navidi and moriarty as 8s with Tips at 7. Huge challenge for Navidi and motiarty to be able to play as physically as they do and get through the whole tournament injury free.
— Phill Hewer (@PhillHewer) August 1, 2019
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.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.