Liam Williams: Full-back ruled out of autumn internationals after collarbone injury

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Liam Williams leaves the field against MunsterLiam Williams was forced off after 20 minutes in his debut for Cardiff

Full-back Liam Williams will miss Wales’ autumn internationals after suffering a serious collarbone injury on his Cardiff debut against Munster.

Williams, 31, underwent surgery on Monday evening and has been be ruled out for up to four months.

It means he will miss Wales’ meeting with New Zealand on 5 November, as well as the following Tests against Argentina, Georgia and Australia.

He signed for Cardiff from Scarlets for the start of the 2022-23 season.

Williams looked sharp in the opening quarter before suffering the injury in Saturday’s 20-13 win against Munster.

He landed heavily on his left shoulder in a tackle from Munster wing Calvin Nash and departed with his arm in a makeshift sling before heading to hospital.

Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young said after the game it looked a significant injury.

“I am desperately disappointed for Liam,” said Young.

“He was so 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.

“Injuries happen, that’s professional sport. Liam was so upset after the game because he wanted to have a strong season.

“Nothing you can say or do can make it any better. Sometimes the sport can be ugly.

“There’s not a lot I can do other than give him a tap on the back and give him my best wishes.

“He’s offered to do anything he can off the field, whether that’s analysis or something like that to help. We’ll have him involved as much as we can.”

Full-back options

It is a major blow for Cardiff with Williams set to miss at least the next 11 games.

The British and Irish Lion will then face a race to prove his fitness for the 2023 Six Nations opener against Ireland on 4 February, with Cardiff saying he will be out for between 12 and 16 weeks.

Wales’ full-back options now include Scarlets duo Johnny McNicholl and Leigh Halfpenny, who has not played since suffering a serious knee injury against Canada in July 2021.

Halfpenny is expected to return for Scarlets in the next few weeks, while Tom Rogers is also an option.

Josh Adams is also an option after Young revealed Wales coach Wayne Pivac had asked to see if the Cardiff wing could play some matches at 15 this season ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

“It is something I had already talked to Wayne about, even before the Liam injury,” added Young.

“Josh is someone Wayne would like to see us play at 15 on occasions because that is something that might happen in the World Cup

“Wayne is gearing up to the tournament and in the World Cup people get injured.

“If we can help in any way in giving some players some experience in other positions that they may be called upon [to play] in the World Cup, we are all trying to do that.

“He (Adams) has played a little bit at full-back before and has got the attributes.

“He has a good kicking game, is good under the high ball and a very good defender.

“If teams kick poorly to him he has the attacking ability to cause them problems.”

Adams is unlikely to start at full-back for Cardiff this week in the United Rugby Championship trip to Glasgow on Friday, with wings Owen Lane (ankle) and Jason Harries (concussion) sidelined.

Young full-back Jacob Beetham is also out of contention after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury playing for Cardiff RFC.

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