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Young reacts to back three injuries

First Team News | 21st September 2022

Dai Young admits his first thoughts were with Liam Williams after the full back suffered a collarbone injury during Cardiff’s BKT United Rugby Championship win over Munster on Saturday.

The British and Irish Lions, who had enjoyed a sparkling opening 20 minutes to his Blue and Blacks career before departing, is expected to be sidelined for 12 to 16 weeks with the injury.

Young revealed that his options in the number 15 jersey took a double blow, with youngster Jacob Beetham also facing a lenthy lay-off after suffering an ACL injury in Cardiff RFC’s win over Merthyr.

However, while the Director of Rugby admits it’s disappointing to lose a player of Williams’ pedigree, he is happy to have other options to fill the vacant full back spot: “I’m more disappointed than anything for Liam because he was really eager to have a good season here. 

“He’s done everything that’s been asked of him since coming to Cardiff and he was looking really sharp in the game.

“I’m really gutted for him and it’s a big blow for both us and Wales. But more importantly it’s really gutting for Liam.

“You never quite know how they’ll recover but we don’t see it as being much before 12 weeks. If everything goes smoothly then hopefully he’ll hit that 12-week mark.

“But as with any injury, you’re not going to rush a player back just to get him a week earlier and so on. It could be anything between 12 and 16 weeks, but hopefully closer to the 12.

“There’s not much more you can say. He’s been in to have his operation on Monday and he’ll have a couple of days for everything to settle down before coming back in.

“He’s offered to help where he can off the field, like with the analysis, and we’ll certainly have him involved as much as we can.

“Sometimes this sport can be ugly. He’s worked really hard and looked really sharp but it’s one of those injuries that you can’t do anything about.

“There’s nothing you can say or do that will make it any better. The medical staff did a great job in looking after him but there wasn’t much I could say or do apart from a bit of a tap on the back and giving him my best wishes.

“We’ve had another bit of bad news too. The process here is that the youngsters coming through the ranks will play for the RFC, which is predominantly the Rags, and will then move up to play for us.

“Jacob Beetham, who we believe is a strong contender for playing 15 moving forward, played for the Rags and has unfortunately done his ACL on the weekend, so he’s out of contention there.

“We’ve obviously got Matthew Morgan who is a well-established 15 for us, and Josh Adams is one that Wayne Pivac would like us to play at 15 on occasions as well.

“That’s something that may happen in the World Cup so it’s about seeing if he can get some experience there.

“So we do have options there, but they’re big shoes to fill.”

Another casualty from Saturday’s opening day win was Owen Lane, who pulled out of the encounter at the eleventh hour after rolling his ankle in the warm-up.

While Young admits the back three division is currently being tested following a number of set-backs, he hopes there are short-term comebacks ear-marked for a trio of wings.

He added: “What we have got issues with as well is our wings. Jason Harries also played for Cardiff but got concussed and will go through the 12-day protocol.

“Owen Lane will be out for a couple of weeks and Theo is currently  coming back from an injury.

“Wing is normally a position where we have a number of options but probably not week.”