Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after sustaining a knee injury in the defeat against England yesterday.
Anscombe, 28, sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury and hobbled off in the first half in the World Cup warm-up at Twickenham.
No timescale has been given on his return.
His absence leaves Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell as the three fly-halves in Wales’ extended squad.
Wales have already lost British and Irish Lions back-rower Taulupe Faletau to a collarbone problem, while Cardiff Blues scrum-half Tomas Williams is awaiting a scan on a shoulder injury.
It is a major blow for Wales with Anscombe having established himself as Warren Gatland’s first choice 10 ahead of Biggar during the last year.
Biggar replaced Anscombe against England and is in pole position to be the starting fly-half at the World Cup in Japan.
With Anscombe ruled out, there are 40 players in Gatland’s World Cup squad which will be reduced to the final 31-strong party at the beginning of September.
It is also a blow for Anscombe’s new side Ospreys after he joined from Cardiff Blues in April 2019 with the New Zealand-born player in danger of missing most of the 2019-20 season.
Wales have a rematch with England in Cardiff on Saturday, 17 August followed by another double-header against Ireland in Cardiff on 31 August and 7 September in Dublin as they prepare for the World Cup in Japan.
In the build-up to the game, Gatland said criticism of Wales playing four warm-ups was “fair”.
In Japan, Wales’ Pool D campaign begins against Georgia in Tokyo on Monday, 23 September followed by games against Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.