Gatland hopeful for Parkes, but Hill faces World Cup heartbreak

Hadleigh Parkes of Wales is tackled during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group D game between Wales and Georgia at City of Toyota Stadium on September 23, 2019 in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
Hadleigh Parkes of Wales is tackled during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group D game between Wales and Georgia at City of Toyota Stadium on September 23, 2019 in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
Image: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes fractured a bone in his hand in the World Cup opener against Georgia, but should be fit for Sunday's Pool D showdown against Australia.

Coach Warren Gatland confirmed the Kiwi-born midfielder had suffered "a bit of a bone fracture."

Gatland will be hoping Parkes can take the field against the Wallabies given his key role in midfield, where he has forged a potent partnership in both defence and attack with Jonathan Davies.

"They think he'll be okay to pad that up and it shouldn't be an issue for next week," Gatland said of Parkes.

"Guys are a bit battered and sore as you'd expect after playing a tough, physical team like Georgia."

There was disappointment however, for highly-regarded lock Cory Hill, who co-captained Wales to a series win in Argentina last year but looks set to miss the rest of the World Cup after failing to make sufficient progress from a stress fracture of his leg.

Hill, who has not played since Wales' win over England in February en route to last season's Grand Slam, will undergo further tests on Tuesday.

Wales will then decide whether to summon the experienced Bradley Davies, a physical ball carrier capped 65 times, as a replacement.

Asked if Dragons second-rower Hill was out of the tournament, Gatland drew a breath before replying: "Possibly.

"If he doesn't return to fitness, he will go back to the UK. We're going to assess him (Tuesday) and see what sort of progress he has made.

"If it's not good news, he will go back. If they think he can recover, then he will stay out. We are going to assess that overnight."

Wales raced out to a 29-0 half-time lead against Georgia in Toyota City on Monday, before the two sides traded two converted tries in the second-half to leave the final score 43-14.

Jonathan Davies' opening try came from a set piece move from a scrum and winger Josh Adams followed that up with a beauty of a try from a well-rehearsed line-out move that caught a leaden-footed Georgian defence napping.

"It was a nice set-piece move and I managed to finish it off. I was happy with that," said Adams.

"We'd been itching for a game for so long.

"The energy and the keenness showed in the first-half where we were fluent. We were ruthless and everything we did went to plan. We will need to do that again on Sunday (against Australia)."

- AFP

 

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