Wales pair Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Anscombe have been sent a message of sympathy from Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony – but the Lions star warned: There’s more injury misery to come.
Anscombe has followed Faletau in being ruled out of the World Cup, the fly-half suffering a knee injury at Twickenham just a week after the No.8 broke his collarbone in training.
O’Mahony knows what it’s like to miss out on big games at a World Cup.
The flanker suffered a knee injury during the 2015 tournament which ended his contribution and the Munster forward was badly missed when Ireland crashed out with a quarter-final defeat to Argentina.
As Wales prepare for Japan without the injured Faletau and Anscome – and Ireland fear they have lost Joey Carbery – O’Mahony insisted every country will suffer withdrawls before the opening game.
“It’s difficult, but lots of people have been there before and it will happen to lots of people again, unfortunately. It’s something you have to battle through,” said O’Mahony.
“Gareth had an incredible season for Wales – Toby Faletau – you would be gutted for guys like that.
“I obviously toured with Toby with the Lions and I saw first-hand how good he actually is.
“You would always have videos of guys but to see guys like that up close, how good he was on that tour, you would be gutted for him.”
“It is cruel but it’s always there. It’s something that would breeze into your head now and then, but you have to go hard at these games.
“You are playing against some of the best teams in the world. If you are going 99.5pc, there’s a much higher possibility of you getting injured than when you are going 100pc.”
Carbery, 23, suffered an injury to his left ankle in last Saturday’s opening warm-up for the finals against Italy at the Aviva Stadium and it is speculated that he will be out for four to six weeks.
Wales host Ireland in Cardiff on August 31 – following their return game at home to England this Saturday – and then travel to Dublin for their final warm-up game on September 7.
In the wake of Wales’ 33-19 defeat to England on Sunday, wing George North insists Wales are capable of improving quickly.
North said: “We were a bit rusty and I reckon we left four tries out there. But we are not panicking. It is what it is. We have to address that and we have a week to get it right for the next Test and we go again.
“You never like losing games, but it has put us in a good place to mentally focus and work out where we need to go.
“This is what these games are for. This is what the opportunity is to allow us to play these big games, turn that around and play the weekend after to simulate what is coming up.
“We are still fighting for positions in the squad and every second counts in these weeks and games. This is the pointed end of the stick now, when the games come thick and fast.”