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Wales blow as flanker Jac Morgan ruled out of summer Tests through injury

By PA
Jac Morgan of Wales looks on during the Summer International match between Wales and England at the Principality Stadium on August 05, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wales have been dealt a major injury blow with flanker Jac Morgan ruled out of Saturday’s Test match against South Africa and the summer tour to Australia.

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Morgan, who was Wales’ Rugby World Cup co-captain with Dewi Lake last year, missed this season’s Six Nations because of a knee injury.

But he now has a hamstring problem that he suffered during Ospreys’ United Rugby Championship quarter-final defeat against Munster.

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And the Welsh Rugby Union announced that Morgan has been released from the squad, meaning he misses the Springboks encounter and Tests in Australia on July 6 and 13.

James Botham, who was called up to the squad on Monday, starts at openside flanker in his place.

Lake, meanwhile, captains a side containing uncapped Cardiff Rugby scrum-half Ellis Bevan, who was born in the Midlands in Solihull.

Former Cardiff Met student Bevan played for Wales U20s in the U20 Six Nations in 2020 and has recently penned a new long-term deal with the capital club.

Another eye-catching selection is the return of British & Irish Lions international, Liam Williams. Williams, 33, who is named on the wing, makes his first appearance for Wales since Rugby World Cup 2023.

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There are three possible debutants among the Wales replacements. Joining Eddie James and Jacob Beetham on the bench is the uncapped James Ratti who was called up to the squad this Tuesday morning.

Wales matchday 23 v South Africa: 15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff, 5 caps); 14. Liam Williams (Kubota Spears, 89 caps), 13. Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 38 caps), 12. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby, 11 caps), 11. Rio Dyer (Dragons, 19 caps); 10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets, 12 caps), 9. Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Rugby, uncapped); 1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys, 30 caps), 2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys, 12 caps), 3. Henry Thomas (Scarlets, 4 caps), 4. Matthew Screech (Dragons, 1 cap), 5. Ben Carter (Dragons, 11 caps), 6. Taine Plumtree (Scarlets, 2 caps), 7. James Botham (Cardiff Rugby, 10 caps), 8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 48 caps).

Replacements:?16. Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby, 2 caps)?17. Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets, 2 caps)?18. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby, 6 caps), 19. James Ratti (Ospreys, uncapped)?20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby, 3 caps),?21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 76 caps)?22. Eddie James (Scarlets, uncapped)?23. Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby, uncapped).

 

 

 

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2 Comments
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Tom 30 days ago

Huge loss. One of the few players Wales have who will stand up to the Boks. They do have some decent backrow options but Morgan has something special. This could be a rout.

C
Chris 30 days ago

Wales clearly rebuilding, almost everyone 5-10 caps. Can’t see them stopping the likes of Marx and Esterhuizen, but we have some serious question marks around Jordan Hendrikse at 10, so anything is possible really.

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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