Rugby World Cup: Aaron Wainwright says Vahaamahina elbow was 'not nice'

Aaron Wainwright
Aaron Wainwright was a promising footballer and played for Newport County before switching to rugby

Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright says it was not "that nice" to be the victim of an elbow from France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina.

In a gripping World Cup quarter-final In Oita, Vahaamahina was sent off for the 48th-minute incident before Wales went on to win 20-19 and secure a semi-final place.

"It was a maul, and he had me by the neck to start with," said Wainwright.

"I was trying to get the referee's attention, and then the elbow came in."

Wainwright added: "I was a bit surprised the referee didn't see it to start off with, but thankfully the television match official pulled it up and it was dealt with. We put the pressure on afterwards and saw the game through.

"I am fine at the moment. It wasn't that nice at the time."

The 22-year-old back-rower and Dragons team-mate Elliot Dee have now played in 14 Tests for Wales in 2019, which is more than any other player for any other nation.

Man-of-the-match Wainwright scored his opening Test try for Wales in the first half as the Six Nations champions fought back and prevailed through Ross Moriarty's late touchdown that Dan Biggar converted.

"The ball popped up, and I can't really remember what happened apart from sprinting towards the line," said Wainwright.

"We have been building for the past 18 months, and the belief has always been there. Coming in at half-time behind, we still had belief we could get the job done.

"It is a massive achievement for the team. It's great to come away with the win and look forward to the semi-final and eyes on the final as well. To hopefully come away with a trophy at the end of it would be nice.

Aaron Wainwright try
Aaron Wainwright runs clear to scores Wales' first try when his side trailed 12-0

"Today showed we can grit it out and get the job done, even if it wasn't the prettiest."

Wainwright, sporting a moustache, explained his stag impression celebration.

"I have got a sevens team back home called the stags, so that was what the celebration was about," he said.

"With the moustache, all my mates went to Prague on a boys' holiday, and they said they were going to grow moustaches.

"They said if I grew one they would crop me into the photographs just so I didn't feel like I was missing out.

"I certainly don't feel like I am missing out now, being here."

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