Scott Williams can 'nail down' Wales centre spot - Shanklin

Scott Williams
Scott Williams made his Wales debut against Barbarians in 2011

Ex-Wales centre Tom Shanklin believes Scott Williams will make the most of his opportunity with the national team in the wake of Jonathan Davies' injury.

Davies, 27, has been ruled out of the World Cup by a serious knee injury.

It could present an opportunity for Scarlets' Williams, 24, to form a midfield partnership with Jamie Roberts.

"He's got a chance now and that's what you've got to do when you're waiting in the wings," said Shanklin.

Davies, 27, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing for his French club Clermont Auvergne against Montpellier on Saturday and the 2013 British and Irish Lion will undergo surgery in the next few days.

It is estimated Davies, who has won 48 caps for Wales, will be out of action for six to seven months.

Davies has been first choice in Wales' midfield alongside Harlequins-bound Roberts although Williams pushed the pair hard for a starting place during the 2015 Six Nations.

"Scott Williams is a player that's been waiting in the wings for a long time," ex-British and Irish Lion Shanklin told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"He's a player who has had to bide his time and a guy desperately waiting to nail down a position in this Wales squad.

"When you're waiting behind a world class player like Jon Davies or Jamie Roberts you have to wait for the opportunity.

"Now there's one right in front of him and I'm sure he will do a brilliant job."

Scott Williams (L) and Jonathan Davies (R) are former Scarlets team-mates
Scott Williams (L) and Jonathan Davies (R) are former Scarlets team-mates

Newport Gwent Dragons' uncapped Tyler Morgan has been withdrawn from Wales' World Under-20 Championship squad and will be included in the extended senior World Cup training squad set to be named on Monday 1 June.

Wales have previously played Northampton wing George North at centre and could also call on Morgan's Dragons midfield partner Jack Dixon or Cory Allen.

"We are lucky in certain positions in the team that we have got strength and centre is one," Shanklin added.

"They could tinker with George North in there but then you're losing a winger and we're down a little bit on wingers.

"I think it's a pretty straightforward switch over. Out of all of them he [Williams] is the one that probably has the wider range of skill and can throw lovely long passes off left and right.

"I think it adds another dimension for Wales."

Shanklin has sympathy for Davies having himself suffered with knee injuries, but is confident the former Scarlets player will come back stronger.

"It sounds bad but it's fixable. It's not something that is career threatening and is a pretty simple operation," Shanklin said.

"A lot of people have had what he's done and come back from it fine.

"It's really bad timing. You know as a rugby player at some stage you are going to get injured."

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