Williams, who has been in impressive form this season, limped off after only 15 minutes in the Scarlets’ 44-26 away defeat to reigning European Champions Saracens in their European Champions Cup pool match. A shoo in to start at full-back or on the wing, Williams’ loss would be a big blow to Wales.
Commenting on Williams’ injury soon after the full-back had left the field, Scarlets team manager and former Wales centre Mark Taylor, said,
”It is a worry for us and Wales going forward.”
Meanwhile, Northampton flyer North, according to director of rugby Jim Mallinder, suffered a swollen hand after taking a heavy knock on it early in the second half of the Saints’ 41-7 drubbing at the hands of Castres.
Rob Howley and company will be hoping that one of their most potent attacking weapons has not broken anything as they prepare for a tough four-match series that will see them take on Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa in the coming weeks.
Due to the fact that the Australia game is outside World Rugby’s Test window, England-based North will very likely miss the game. But Wales will really hope that his hand will be fully healed when Argentina come calling the following week.
To make matters worse for Howley, Scarlets centre Scott Williams was withdrawn from his team’s starting line-up for their clash against Saracens with an ankle injury. After a slow start to the season, the creative 26-year-old has really hit form recently, picking up the man of the match award last weekend in the Scarlets’ 28-11 win over the Sale Sharks.
With England-based Jamie Roberts, like North, also unlikely to feature against Australia, Williams – if fit – would probably start at 12 alongside club mate Jonathan Davies.
Finally, Scarlets’ lock Jake Ball, one of Wales’ back-up locks, left the field in serious pain with an arm injury in the second half of his club’s game.
With talismanic number eight Taulupe Faletau unavailable for at least the first two games and the possibility of Sam Warburton having to face Australia without having played a game in five weeks, Howley has plenty on his mind.
Skipper Warburton was due to return for the Blues on Friday evening in their European Challenge Cup fixture against Top 14 outfit Pau, after recovering from surgery to a fractured cheekbone. However, he didn’t appear in the game as planned.
With only one PRO12 round of games before November 5 remaining, Wales’ interim head coach will have to decide whether to allow the 28-year-old to play for his region against the Scarlets next Friday or throw him straight into the deep end against the Aussies completely undercooked.
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena
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Read More About: 2016 Autumn internationals, argentina rugby, australia rugby, george north, jake ball, japan rugby, jim mallinder, liam williams, llanelli scarlets, northampton saints, rob howley, Saracens Rugby, Scott Williams, south africa rugby, welsh rugby