Injuries take early toll at RWC

3:42 pm on 23 September 2015

After three days of competition, injuries have already ruled three players out of the rugby World Cup.

Welsh centre Cory Allen who scored three tries against Uruguay in their opening game, is out for the rest of the tournament with a hamstring tear.

French winger Yoann Huget suffered ligament damage to his knee in his team's win over Italy, and Italian centre Andrea Masi snapped his achilles tendon in the same game.

Andrea Masi during the 2013 Six Nations.

Andrea Masi during the 2013 Six Nations. Photo: Paralympics NZ

The Welsh, already rocked by injuries to key backs Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Rhys Webb in their final warm-up match, had five other players added to their casualty list during Sunday's 54-9 victory in Cardiff.

Allen pulled up with the injury in the second half and after having scans was replaced in the squad by Tyler Morgan, who joins Scott Williams and Jamie Roberts to restore the number of specialist centres in the squad to three.

Wales next face England in a Twickenham clash on Saturday which could go a long way to deciding which teams progress from Pool A, which also includes Australia and Fiji.

"It's disappointing to lose Cory in this way, especially following his man-of-the-match display against Uruguay," said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"Tyler was part of the our extended squad and trained very well and will link up with us in London later today."

The other injured players were fullback Liam Williams (dead leg), props Paul James and Samson Lee (tight calves) and their fellow front-rower Aaron Jarvis (rib cartilage).

Flanker Dan Lydiate was, however, given the all-clear after a head knock.

Cory Allen is helped from the field after being injured in his side's RWC over Uruguay.

Cory Allen is helped from the field after being injured in his side's RWC over Uruguay. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With only two fully fit props in his squad, Gatland will have to make a call this week on whether the injured players have recovered sufficiently or need to be replaced.

Once players have been replaced in the squad, however, they can play no further part in the tournament.

Gatland knows that a match against England at Twickenham is not a place for players nursing injuries.

"It's going to be a tough battle up front, that's what I'm expecting," the New Zealander said after the Uruguay match.

For France, Huget is being replaced by powerful Castres Olympique wing Remy Grosso.

"It is sad to lose such a player. We don't know yet whether his ligament is totally or partially ruptured, but his World Cup is over," coach Philippe Saint-Andre said on Sunday.

Yoann Huget is carried off during France's win over Italy at the RWC.

Yoann Huget is carried off during France's win over Italy at the RWC. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 28-year-old Huget, who has 41 caps, has been a key member of the French squad since Saint-Andre took over from Marc Lievremont after the 2011 World Cup.

Four years ago, Huget withdrew from the World Cup squad after failing to provide his whereabouts to anti-doping authorities on three occasions.

France next face Romania and Canada at the World Cup, before concluding their group campaign against Ireland.

The Italians are reported to have called up the Zebre winger, Michele Visentin, to replace Masi.

Italy's next game is against Canada on Monday.

- Reuters