October 24, 2019 / 3:50 PM / a month ago

Wales fullback Williams ruled out of World Cup semi - BBC

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Quarter Final - Wales v France - Oita Stadium, Oita, Japan - October 20, 2019 Wales' Liam Williams celebrates after the match REUTERS/Edgar Su

TOKYO (Reuters) - Wales fullback Liam Williams has been ruled out of Sunday’s World Cup semi-final against South Africa after sustaining an ankle injury, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Williams, who has won 62 caps and started all of Wales’s World Cup games except one, is not expected to recover in time for their next match — either the final or third-place playoff.

Leigh Halfpenny is expected to replace the 28-year-old in the lineup against South Africa when Warren Gatland announces the team on Friday.

Wales are already without loose forward Josh Navidi, who injured his hamstring in their 20-19 quarter-final victory over France on Sunday, with winger Owen Lane called up as a replacement.

The Six Nations champions are also keeping a close watch on centre Jonathan Davies, who was ruled out of the quarter-final clash with a recurrence of a knee injury which he had aggravated in the penultimate pool game against Fiji.

South Africa also suffered a big blow ahead of the semi-final when winger Cheslin Kolbe was ruled out of the game with injury.

The winner of Sunday’s semi-final will meet either England or New Zealand in the Nov. 2 World Cup final.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar

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