Liam Williams ‘absolutely devastated’ after being ruled out of Wales’ autumn Tests following surgery on a collarbone injury suffered on debut for Cardiff… as director of rugby Dai Young says he is ‘gutted’ for the 31-year-old
- Liam Williams is ‘devastated’ to miss Wales’ four Tests this autumn after surgery
- He was forced off on his Cardiff debut on Saturday with a collarbone injury
- Johnny McNicholl is now likely to start against his birth nation New Zealand
A ‘devastated’ Liam Williams has been ruled out of Wales’ crunch autumn internationals after he underwent surgery on a collarbone injury suffered on debut for his new side Cardiff.
Two-time British & Irish Lion and experienced international Williams, 31, is a vital figure for Wayne Pivac’s Wales and a certain starter at full-back if fit.
But after switching from Welsh region Scarlets to Cardiff this summer, he was forced off in the first half of his first game for the capital side against Munster last Saturday.
Liam Williams will miss Wales’ autumn Tests after suffering a collarbone injury on Saturday
Cardiff confirmed Williams had an operation to fix his broken collarbone on Monday evening and is expected to be out for between 12 to 16 weeks.
It means he will miss Wales’ November clashes with New Zealand, Argentina, Georgia and Australia.
‘Absolutely devastated to pick up an injury on my Cardiff debut,’ Williams posted on social media. ‘Surgery went well last night – on the road to recovery!’
Wayne Pivac will view the absence of Williams as a huge blow to his World Cup preparations
Williams’ injury is a big blow to Wales head coach Pivac as his side looks to hit top gear ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.
Williams is first-choice at full-back. His understudy Leigh Halfpenny is still recovering from a long-term knee injury. Another No 15 option in Hallam Amos retired this summer to become a doctor.
It means that as things stand, the New Zealand-born Johnny McNicholl will be favourite to start in that position against the All Blacks and the country of his birth on November 5.
Johnny McNicholl is now favourite to take Williams’ place to face his birth nation New Zealand
‘I am desperately disappointed for Liam,’ said Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young.
‘He was really eager to have a good season. He has done everything that has been asked of him since he came to Cardiff and I thought he was looking sharp in the game.
‘I am gutted for him – it’s a big blow for us and a big blow for Wales.’
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