Wales could turn to Jamie Roberts against All Blacks as Liam Williams joins growing injury list

Wales have suffered a major blow ahead of their autumn international against New Zealand this weekend after Liam Williams was ruled out of the Test with an abdominal injury.

Williams, who has played at wing and full-back in Wales’ last two Tests against Australia and Georgia, will also miss the final match of the series against South Africa next weekend, while Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert has also been sent back to his club with a calf strain.

With no projected return available for either player, that have both been sent back to their clubs for further treatment and assessment, and Williams is almost certain to miss Saracens’ upcoming games against Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins in the Premiership and could face a race to be fit for the 10 December visit of Clermont Auvergne in what will be a repeat of last season’s European Champions Cup final.

Williams was almost certain to feature against the All Blacks, with Wales head coach Warren Gatland facing a big decision over keeping him at full-back or bringing Leigh Halfpenny back into the side and moving Williams to the wing. As a result of Williams’ injury, Scarlets full-back Halfpenny is almost certain to start, and with George North already out of the autumn programme, Steffan Evans and Hallam Amos are likely to be named on the wings.

Amos scored tries against both Australia – having come on in the second half – and Georgia, while Evans also got himself on the scoresheet against the Wallabies.

Leigh Halfpenny is almost certain to start at full-back (Getty)

One injury boost for Wales is that influential openside flanker Justin Tipuric is back in full training and could make his first appearance of the autumn, but tighthead prop Samson Lee is unlikely to feature as he continues his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury.

“He’s[Tipuric] back training,” said defence coach Shaun Edwards. “He maybe could have played last week but we didn’t want to risk him.”

Jonathan Davies…

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