Owen Lane has been called up to Wales’ Rugby World Cup squad to replace injured Cardiff Blues teammate Josh Navidi.
The electric wing made a try-scoring debut in Wales’ World Cup warm-up clash against Ireland during the summer and will link-up with Warren Gatland’s squad as they prepare for their semi-final encounter against South Africa.
After initially missing out on a ticket to the World Cup, Lane dotted down for a try on his return for Cardiff Blues in the home Guinness PRO14 clash against Edinburgh and has an impressive record of 18 tries in 41 appearances.
Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill said: “We’re all naturally gutted for Josh, who has picked up a tournament-ending injury, but he can be immensely proud of everything he has achieved and contributed out in Japan, as we are of him.
“During the last two years he has been one Wales’ most consistent, stand out players and he has continued that on the biggest stage. Hopefully he will return to Cardiff Blues as a World Cup winner and we will see him in the not too distant future.
“With Josh’s misfortune, the door opens to Owen, who was really unlucky to miss out on selection originally. You never want to be called up at the expense of a teammate, but Laney now has a great opportunity and he thoroughly deserves his inclusion.
“He has been the form wing in Wales for the last 18 months, scored on his international debut in the summer and continued that form scoring here at the Arms Park against Edinburgh.
“Hopefully Laney can show that quality in the coming weeks and contribute in an already strong Cardiff Blues contingent with Josh Adams, Tomos Williams and Dillon Lewis all impressing.”
Back-rower Navidi had been one of Wales’ stand-out figures in the tournament, starting three pool stage games and receiving plaudits for his performances.
However, the Cardiff Blues academy product limped out in the first half of the quarter final clash against France, and it has been confirmed that Navidi has suffered a grade two hamstring tear.
The back row becomes the second member of Warren Gatland’s side to depart Japan, with Cory Hill ruled out with a leg injury earlier in the tournament.