Wales to be without captain Sam Warburton against Australia

Sam Warburton
Sam Warburton has represented Wales 67 times and has captained his country more times than any other player
Wales Under Armour Test series - Wales v Australia
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 5 November Kick-offs: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live BBC Wales television and radio commentary; also on the BBC Sport website and app, plus live text commentaries

Wales captain Sam Warburton will miss Saturday's Test against Australia.

Warburton has been released back to Cardiff Blues after suffering a neck injury. He was previously sidelined with a fractured cheekbone.

"Sam is going back to the Blues to get some game time under his belt," defence coach Shaun Edwards confirmed.

Warburton will be back in contention for the remainder of the Autumn Internationals if he plays against Treviso this weekend, Edwards said.

Justin Tipuric looks likely to replace Warburton, with a decision on who will captain the side to be made later in the week.

There was better news for Wales when it came to Liam Williams, who has been wearing a protective boot on his foot since injuring an ankle in the Scarlets game with Saracens recently.

Edwards said Williams will be assessed closer to the Australia game.

Wales will announce their team on Thursday morning.

"Liam Williams was in a boot last week, it did look quite a serious injury," said Edwards.

"But we are going to leave it until the last minute. We are hopeful he will play (against Australia), but he will definitely play some part in the series."

Jake Ball, who suffered a rib injury for Scarlets against Saracens, is back in light training, Edwards confirmed, whilst Tyler Morgan will hopefully be available for the Australia clash after making progress with his hamstring problem.

Osprey's Tipuric is favourite to come in at open-side flanker for the absent Warburton and Edwards believes he is the perfect man for the job.

"I'm a big fan of Justin Tipuric," Edwards added.

"His form in attack and defence has been superb and the defensive system we employ is very reliant on people having speed and Justin is certainly very quick off the mark."

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