Cory Hill withdraws from Wales World Cup squad to pursue club offer

Cory Hill withdraws from Wales World Cup squad to pursue club offer

Cory Hill has become the latest player to withdraw from Wales’ preliminary World Cup training squad.

The former Cardiff and Dragons lock, who had been playing in Japan, was recalled by Wales head coach Warren Gatland following two years out of Test rugby.

But 31-year-old Hill has pulled out of the squad to pursue a club contract opportunity outside of Wales, the Welsh Rugby Union said.

“I am gutted to be leaving the squad, but an opportunity has come up and I need to take it for my family,” Hill said.

“Wishing the boys all the best at the World Cup, and I hope to be back in a Wales jersey in the future.”

Gatland named a 54-man group last month for the tournament in France later this year.

Lock Alun Wyn Jones, flanker Justin Tipuric and scrum-half Rhys Webb, who have 291 Wales caps between them, subsequently announced their retirements from international rugby.

Wales
Wales head coach Warren Gatland named a 54-player squad in May (Ben Birchall/PA)

And Cardiff prop Rhys Carre was then released from the squad after he failed to meet individual performance targets.

The PA news agency understands that Gatland has no plans to call up a replacement for Hill, whose new club want him available for them during the World Cup period in September and October.

Hill made his Wales debut against Australia in 2016, while a 32nd and latest appearance came during the 2021 Six Nations against France.

Gatland’s remaining second-row options in his squad are Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Dafydd Jenkins, Ben Carter, Rhys Davies, Teddy Williams and Christ Tshiunza.