Liam Williams misses out on All Blacks clash due to abdominal injury

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Wales have lost a second injured British and Irish Lion in their autumn Test campaign.

Saracens back Liam Williams has been released from the Wales squad due to an abdominal injury suffered during last Saturday’s 13-6 victory over Georgia.

Wales were already without centre Jonathan Davies, who is battling to play again this season due to the foot injury sustained in Wales’ autumn opener against Australia 17 days ago.

Both Williams, who has won 45 caps, and 65 times-capped Davies were star performers of the Lions’ New Zealand tour earlier this year.

But neither player will be involved when Wales face the All Blacks in four days’ time.

And in another injury setback, Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert has been sidelined by a calf muscle injury.

“Liam Williams and Alex Cuthbert have been released from the Wales squad due to injury,” the Welsh Rugby Union said in a statement.

“Liam Williams suffered an abdominal injury and Alex Cuthbert a calf injury.

“At this stage, no time frame for recovery has been set for either player, and they have been released back to their respective club/region.”

Liam Williams was an important player for the Lions' tour of New Zealand
Liam Williams was an important player for the Lions’ tour of New Zealand (David Davies/PA Wire)

Williams, 26, started on the wing against Australia, before moving to full-back in the Georgia game.

He is arguably Wales’ most dangerous strike runner, and it is a considerable blow to their plans as they strive to avoid a 30th successive defeat against the All Blacks.

And it means that New Zealand will not be reunited with a player who tore them to shreds by launching a stunning counter-attack in the first Test that led to a memorable try for flanker Sean O’Brien.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is not due to name his starting line-up until Thursday, but it is likely that Leigh Halfpenny will be joined in the back-three by Hallam Amos, who scored tries against Australia and Georgia, plus the Scarlets’ Steff Evans.

Saracens, meanwhile, face a busy forthcoming period of domestic and European action, highlighted by home and away Champions Cup games against French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne next month.

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