Rugby World Cup: Wales add Owen Lane to squad as Josh Navidi ruled out

Wing Owen Lane scores for Wales against Ireland in August 2019
Wing Owen Lane scored a try on his debut for Wales against Ireland in August 2019
2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final: Wales v South Africa
Venue: International Stadium, Yokohama Date: Sun, 27 Oct Kick-off: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Wales have called up Cardiff Blues wing Owen Lane to the World Cup, although he replaces a forward after back row Josh Navidi was ruled out by injury.

Navidi injured his hamstring during Sunday's 20-19 quarter-final win over France in Oita.

Lane, who can also play at centre, was part of Wales' extended pre-tournament training squad.

The 21-year-old made his Test debut in August's warm-up defeat to Ireland in Cardiff, scoring a try.

Lane will arrive in Japan on Tuesday afternoon and while defence coach Shaun Edwards is looking forward to his arrival, he says Wales will miss Navidi's influence.

"He is a great character. He is a very good player and has huge potential going forward and we were very impressed with him in the summer," said Edwards.

"We have been away for quite a few weeks now and he has got some great banter. Sometimes you need that when you have been way from home for so long.

"Josh has been one of our go-to players over the last two years during a period where we have been successful.

"Everyone is gutted for Josh and, for myself, he is one of our best defensive players. Someone will have to step up into his position."

Lane's call-up means the more experienced Scott Williams remains at home, but the Ospreys centre has not long returned to action after hamstring and back problems sidelined him for most of last season.

Coach Warren Gatland confirmed Navidi faced "at least a couple of weeks [out]", ruling him out of Sunday's semi-final against South Africa in Yokohama.

Strong back-row options

Wales have strong back-row options, starting with Ross Moriarty - who replaced Navidi against France - while flankers Aaron Shingler and James Davies are also in contention to be named in the match-day squad.

But with several backs carrying knocks, Gatland has opted to strengthen in that area instead.

"We've got six back rowers and we've got five fit at the moment, but we've been a little bit short in numbers in the backs," Gatland said on Monday.

Jonathan Davies was a late withdrawal before the quarter-final with a recurrence of a knee injury, although Wales are hopeful he will be fit to face the Springboks.

Fellow centre Hadleigh Parkes has been playing with a broken bone in his hand, plus a shoulder problem.

Wales' other centre options are Owen Watkin, who partnered Parkes against France, or moving wing George North into the midfield.

They go into Sunday's semi-final hoping to reach the first final in Wales' history.

Wales 2019 World Cup results & fixtures
Mon, 23 Sept: Wales 43-14 Georgia
Sun, 29 Sept: Wales 29-25 Australia
Wed, 9 Oct: Wales 29-17 Fiji
Sun, 13 Oct: Wales 35-13 Uruguay
Sun, 20 Oct: Quarter-final - Wales 20-19 France
Sun, 3 Nov: Semi-final - Wales v South Africa, Yokohama, 09:00 GMT

Wales finished third at the inaugural 1987 tournament and fourth in Gatland's first tournament in charge in 2011.

The Springboks ended Wales' interest at the 2015 event hosted by England.

Navidi is the second Wales player to leave Japan, with lock Cory Hill having departed without playing a game after failing to recover from a leg stress fracture.

Dragons' Hill was replaced by Ospreys' Bradley Davies while another Ospreys lock, Adam Beard, arrived late after recovering from appendicitis.

Bereaved McBryde stays in Japan

Following the death of his mother Diana, Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde will stay with the squad in Japan.

"I have received great support from the team and management out here and with the support from my family back home it allows me to remain in Japan," said McBryde.

"My mother was my biggest fan and as with any parent, she would want the best for me, so I know I am where she would want me to be.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Ward Cybi, Ysbyty Gwynedd, for the fantastic care and attention my mother received."

Gatland said: "The Wales squad, management and the whole of the Welsh Rugby Union would like to extend our heart-felt condolences to Robin and his family following the recent passing of his mother Diana.

"Robin is a proud family man and we as a squad are here to support him and his family in any way possible during this time."

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All pictures via Huw Evans images


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