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Rugby World Cup: Wales add Owen Lane to squad as Josh Navidi ruled out

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Wing Owen Lane scored a try on his debut for Wales against Ireland in August 2019

2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final: Wales v South Africa
Venue: International Stadium, Yokohama Date: Sun, 3 Nov Kick-off: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

Wales have called up Cardiff Blues wing Owen Lane to the World Cup, although he replaces a forward after back-row Josh Navidi was ruled out by injury.

Navidi injured his hamstring during Sunday’s 20-19 quarter-final win over France in Oita.

Lane, who can also play at centre, was part of Wales’ extended pre-tournament training squad.

The 21-year-old made his Test debut in August’s warm-up defeat to Ireland in Cardiff, scoring a try.

Lane’s inclusion is expected to be confirmed officially by Wales on Tuesday.

The other option would have been the more experienced Scott Williams, but the Ospreys centre has not long returned to action after hamstring and back problems sidelined him for most of last season.

Coach Warren Gatland confirmed Navidi faced “at least a couple of weeks [out]”, ruling him out of Sunday’s semi-final against South Africa in Yokohama.

Wales have strong back-row options, including Ross Moriarty who replaced Navidi against France while flankers Aaron Shingler and James Davies also in contention to be named in the match-day squad.

But with several backs carrying knocks, Gatland has opted to strengthen there instead.

“Given we’ve got six back-rowers and we’ve got five fit at the moment, we’ve been a little bit short in numbers in the backs,” Gatland said on Monday.

Jonathan Davies was a late withdrawal before the quarter-final with a recurrence of a knee injury, although Wales are hopeful he will be fit to face the Springboks.

Fellow centre Hadleigh Parkes has been playing with a broken bone in his hand, plus a shoulder problem.

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Wales’ other centre options are Owen Watkin, who partnered Parkes against France, or moving wing George North into the midfield.

They go into Sunday’s semi-final hoping to reach the first final in Wales’ history.

Wales 2019 World Cup results & fixtures
Mon, 23 Sept: Wales 43-14 Georgia
Sun, 29 Sept: Wales 29-25 Australia
Wed, 9 Oct: Wales 29-17 Fiji
Sun, 13 Oct: Wales 35-13 Uruguay
Sun, 20 Oct: Quarter-final – Wales 20-19 France
Sun, 3 Nov: Semi-final – Wales v South Africa, Yokohama, 09:00 GMT

Wales finished third at the inaugural 1987 tournament and fourth in Gatland’s first tournament in charge in 2011.

The Springboks ended Wales’ interest at the 2015 event hosted by England.

Navidi is the second Wales player to leave Japan, with lock Cory Hill having departed without playing a game after failing to recover from a leg stress fracture.

Dragons’ Hill was replaced by Ospreys’ Bradley Davies while another Ospreys lock, Adam Beard, arrived late after recovering from appendicitis.

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All pictures via Huw Evans images

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