Wales have suffered an injury hammer-blow with wing Josh Adams being ruled of remaining Guinness Six Nations games against England and Scotland.
Adams, who has scored 10 tries in his last 10 Tests, suffered an ankle injury during Wales’ 27-23 loss to France three days ago.
And the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed he will miss the remainder of the tournament, adding that he is due to have surgery this week and faces nearly three months out.
The WRU said in a statement: “Josh Adams will play no further part in Wales’ 2020 Guinness Six Nations campaign following an ankle injury sustained in the match against France.
“He is due to have surgery this week and it is envisaged that he could return in 12 weeks for the latter stages of the Guinness PRO14.
“No-one has been added to the squad.”
It is a major setback for new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, given Cardiff Blues speedster Adams’ sustained excellence that also saw him finish the World Cup earlier this season as tournament top try-scorer.
He has claimed 14 touchdowns in his 24-cap Test career, including two hat-tricks, and been unquestionably Wales’ most potent attacking weapon during the last year.
Adams’ fellow wing George North also went off in the France game, his departure following an aerial collision with Les Bleus’ Gael Fickou.
North then failed a head injury assessment, and he is now set to follow graduated return-to-play protocols.
Johnny McNicholl would be in the running to replace Adams against England and Liam Williams, who has not played since suffering an ankle injury four months ago, could also find himself in the mix as his rehabilitation nears completion.
Williams was hurt during Wales’ preparations for their World Cup semi-final against South Africa last October.
But if deemed ready to play, he could be made available for the Scarlets’ PRO14 appointment with Munster in Limerick on Saturday after rejoining the Llanelli-based region from Saracens earlier than initially anticipated.
Williams’ Scarlets colleague McNicholl has featured in all three Six Nations games so far this season, including two appearances as a replacement.
But among others, Pivac could also look at uncapped Gloucester teenager Louis Rees-Zammit, who has made a major impression for his club on domestic and European stages this term.
In the meantime, Adams looks set to be sidelined until mid to late May as his Blues and Wales career is temporarily put on hold.