Wales outside-half Rhys Patchell has left his team worried over his immediate future after being taken off the field of play against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
The 26-year-old suffered a head injury during an attempt to tackle CJ Stander ahead of Ireland’s opening try, which was scored by full-back Rob Kearny. Patchell left the game to undergo a Head Injury Assessment and was unable to rejoin the action. Dan Biggar came on as a replacement.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Wales decided to keep the player off because he failed the assessment or because they simply did not want to risk him suffering another blow to the head. Of course, this is a huge worry given that Patchell was made to miss a significant part of last season due to suffering two concussions. These concussions brought the number up to three in the space of 12 months; he also spent a lot of time on the sidelines after being “sparked out” during a regional fixture.
The player was named to Wales’ 31-man squad for the upcoming World Cup last Sunday after coming off the bench to impress against Ireland last weekend. His inclusion left Jarrod Evans off the team but the 23-year-old is now on standby.
Patchell shared his excitement with reporters prior to Saturday’s game.
“It has been a challenging year, that’s for sure, but it is worth it in the end when you get into the World Cup squad,” he said, per The Guardian. “It was relief for me, but to see the smile on the faces of my parents when I told them I had made the cut was particularly satisfying.”
He also admitted being concerned about his concussion issues, lauding a specialist he saw for putting his mind at ease.
“I went to see a specialist [on head injuries] in Birmingham and that was really helpful in terms of putting my mind at ease,” he continued. “He said that structurally there was nothing wrong with my brain or anything like that. It’s a bizarre injury. You can’t see anything. You do not have any scars. There is no benchmark that you can work against. I do not know if I dealt with it particularly well and it took six months before I started feeling like myself again on the field.”
Wales lost 19-10 to their latest opponents. They are set to open their World Cup campaign against Georgia in Pool D on September 23 at Japan’s City of Toyota Stadium. They’re favored to come out on top, with Bet365 offering 50/1 odds on a win. The bookmakers have a draw at 12/1 while Georgia is at 50/1 to win. Fans keen on participating in a bit of betting before and during the World Cup could take advantage of the tips from https://www.onlinesportbetting.ca/rugby-predictions-betting-odds/.
New Zealand is the bookies’ favorites to win the World Cup at 11/8 with William Hill. Betfair has 9/2 odds on offer on South Africa’s chances while England is at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. Wales and Ireland are both at 9/1 Bet365 while Australia is at 14/1 with Skybet. If perhaps you’re looking to bet on the finalists, Bet365 has odds of 11/4 on South Africa vs. New Zealand, 11/2 on New Zealand vs. Ireland and 7/1 on Wales vs. New Zealand.
In the meantime, we’re hoping that Patchell’s injury is not serious enough to force him out of the tournament.