x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Morgan Stoddart's broken leg 'heartbreaking' for teammates

Welsh player's World Cup dream was shattered by a serious injury at Twickenham when he was carried off the field.

As his Wales teammates began preparations for a rematch against England on Saturday, Morgan Stoddart remained in London's Charing Cross Hospital awaiting further assessment on a broken left leg.

Stoddart's World Cup dream was shattered by a serious injury at Twickenham when he was carried off the field, an oxygen mask clutched to the full-back's face.

"It is heartbreaking for him," Jamie Roberts, the Wales centre, said. "He is a great fellow who has trained very hard over the last couple of months."

Jonathan Davies, the other centre and a Scarlets colleague of Stoddart, said: "It is terrible news. I am gutted for him because he has worked so hard to get here in the last couple of months.

"I know rugby is a hard game, but when you see a friend that you play rugby with every day pick up an injury like that, it is tough to take. I just wish him a speedy recovery and hope he gets back to full fitness."

Stoddart's absence will also be a major blow for Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, who was unable to pick the injured backs Lee Byrne (knee) and Leigh Halfpenny (ankle) against England.

Stoddart scored two tries from three starts during last season's Six Nations Championship, and he was expected to feature among the 30-man World Cup squad Gatland will announce on August 22.