Owen Farrell Wales vs England team news: Warren Gatland risks further injury woe with challenge to key players

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Warren Gatland has challenged his key players to prove they deserve a place in his starting line-up after sticking with the bulk of the squad that suffered defeat against England last Sunday for this Saturday’s return fixture, despite the risk of suffering further injuries to his players.

The Wales head coach has ruled first-choice fly-half Gareth Anscombe out for the rest of the season after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his knee last weekend, adding to the absence of No 8 Taulupe Faletau due to a broken collarbone.

The Kiwi would be forgiven for wrapping his key players in cotton wool this weekend as England come to Cardiff, but instead he has stuck with his all-out attack approach with Alun Wyn Jones leading a fully-loaded side.

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“Anscombe did it when he made the break down the sideline,” explained Gatland on Thursday. “It wasn’t from a tackle, he’s just stepped off his right leg. You can see the jarring on the video.

“He said to the physios he felt he had jarred his knee and stayed on thinking he could run it off.

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“He asked the physios if he’d done any more damage, and they said: ‘No, you’d already done that and it wasn’t going to get any worse’.

“Unfortunately, he’s going to require surgery and it’s going to keep him out for most of the season.”

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