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Wales lose Williams and Cuthbert for All Blacks clash

By Alex Fisher
Wales full-back Liam Williams

Liam Williams and Alex Cuthbert will miss Wales’ November international with New Zealand after being released from Warren Gatland’s squad due to injuries.

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Williams was replaced as Wales laboured to victory over Georgia in Cardiff last weekend, the full-back hobbling off just before the hour.

Gatland was not optimistic about his chances of facing the All Blacks when speaking to reporters on Monday, and 24 hours later his worst fears have been confirmed.

The Welsh Rugby Union confirmed that Williams had been released back to Saracens with an abdominal injury, while also confirming winger Cuthbert would miss out too.

Cuthbert played the entire 80 minutes of the 13-6 win over Georgia but will not feature against the world champions due to a calf problem.

Replacements for the duo have yet to be confirmed.

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William 2 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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