Wales Keeping Everything Crossed That Dewi Lake Can Still Make A Splash in France

Wales are praying for good news over hooker Dewi Lake after his knee injury was the most bruising outcome of their 19-17 defeat to England at Twickenham.

The Ospreys star – who captained his country for the first time – will be assessed over the next few days with his chances of making the World Cup squad in the balance.

Lake’s injury was a cruel blow as the hooker has had a torrid time with injuries over the last 12 months.

Before the fixture against England, Lake hadn’t played for Wales since facing the Springboks in Cape Town last July.

The highly rated front-rower missed the whole of Wales’ international schedule last term as a shoulder injury ruled him out of their autumn campaign.

A knee problem put paid to any Six Nations hopes, and it looks as if he may have suffered another serious setback.

Wales can ill-afford another problem at hooker. Ken Owens captained Warren Gatland’s side during the Six Nations but has been ruled out of the World Cup pool stages due to a back injury.

Last week fellow hooker Ryan Elias was forced off the pitch after just six minutes with a hamstring injury.

Gatland said of Lake, “He is pretty gutted and disappointed.

“He’s gone to jackal on the ball, Owen Farrell has tried to roll him, and he’s ended up landing on his leg.

“It’s unfortunate and it looks like he’s got a knee injury, but we don’t know the extent of it or how bad it is.”

Wales No.8 Taine Plumtree also went off with a shoulder injury that provides Wales with another headache.

Plumtree was making his first start at number eight after winning his first cap against England in Cardiff the previous weekend.

“We capitulated in terms of our accuracy and with some guys not knowing their roles. For me that was disappointing because we’ve spent a lot of time ensuring there is clarity and everyone knows their roles,” said Gatland.

“We gave away some soft penalties where we piggy-backed them up the field and gave them those chances. We’ll have learnt a lot from that.

“The game management in that final quarter wasn’t good enough. We should have been comfortable.

“It was a big moment not taking the kick-off and giving England back a bit of momentum by not clearing our line, allowing them to score from that and get back into the game. That was disappointing.”

Wales have one remaining warm-up game – at home to South Africa on Saturday – before Gatland names his 33-man squad for the tournament on the following Monday.

“There are still some players we need to find out about and potentially give an opportunity to,” Gatland said.

“You couldn’t ask for better warm-up matches in terms of the physicality we are looking for, with England home and away and then South Africa.

“It’s going to be the same sort of test up-front against South Africa and we need to take the learnings from Twickenham.”