Shaun Edwards believes Wales have lost possibly world rugby’s form outside centre after Jonathan Davies was hit by a shattering injury blow.
Davies is set to be sidelined for six months, ruling him out of Wales’ autumn series appointments with Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa, plus this season’s NatWest 6 Nations campaign.
He requires surgery on the foot injury he suffered during the dying seconds of Wales’ 29-21 defeat against Australia in Cardiff three days ago.
The Welsh Rugby Union said “it is envisaged that recovery will be in the region of six months.”
It is a major blow for Wales and the Scarlets to lose Davies, who was British and Irish Lions player of the series against world champions New Zealand earlier this year.
“Obviously, I am incredibly upset for the player,” Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Edwards said. “We wish him a speedy recovery. He is probably one of the form 13s, if not the form 13, in world rugby. He is going to take some replacing.
“He is a massive loss, there is no doubt about that. They are big shoes to fill. I have got a lot of work to do in the next three weeks and through the Six Nations.
“I am not saying he is irreplaceable, but it (13) would definitely be one of the positions you would least want to lose. It’s unbelievably disappointing. But it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
“The last World Cup (in 2015) was a great example of sometimes you are going to get injuries, and you just have to get over it.
“We were in the toughest group there has ever been in the last World Cup, and we had an horrific injury list. People were falling down left, right and centre, and we still got through it.
“We have to show a bit of resilience that we have shown in the past. I am sure there will be players who will put their hand up to play 13. We will just have to look at it over the next three games, and obviously the Six Nations.”
Davies, 29, missed the last World Cup due to a knee ligament injury, but he has been in magnificent form throughout this year.
Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts was called into Wales’ autumn Test squad as injury cover on Monday, but experienced Scarlets midfield operator Scott Williams is potentially favourite to replace Davies against New Zealand.