Broken arm ends Martyn Williams' World Cup hopes

Martyn Williams
Williams was hoping to pass the 100-cap mark for Wales at the World Cup

Martyn Williams' hopes of earning a call to Wales' World Cup squad have been ended by a broken arm.

As Wales assess the injury to flanker Dan Lydiate in New Zealand, Williams was among a handful of candidates in the running as a possible replacement.

But the veteran open-side, who has won 99 caps for Wales, broke his arm in the second half of Cardiff Blues' 20-3 defeat in Ulster on Friday.

The 36-year-old is expected to be out of action for at least six weeks.

Williams was part of Wales' World Cup training squad, but failed to make the cut in coach Warren Gatland's 30-man squad.

Gatland opted to take Sam Warburton as the only specialist open-side flanker, depending on Lydiate's versatility to move from the blind-side if required.

But Lydiate's ankle injury, sustained in Wales' 17-10 win over Samoa on Sunday, leaves Gatland short of back-row cover.

Ryan Jones has been struggling with a calf injury, but Wales will delay any decision on any potential call-up until the full extent of Lydiate's injury becomes clear.

Williams' injury leaves Jonathan Thomas, Gareth Delve, Justin Tupric and Josh Turnbull as the candidates to join the squad if required.

"Delve is back in Melbourne [with his club Melbourne Rebels] so that would be the obvious choice with the travel," former Wales captain Jonathan Davies told BBC Wales' Scrum V programme.

"I just hope Ryan Jones is fit. That might give Lydiate a bit more time them, especially with Delve being so close."

Williams played in Wales' final pre-World Cup warm-up match at the Millennium Stadium - a 28-13 win over Argentina - and former Wales number eight Emyr Lewis believes that match will prove to be the flanker's last appearance on the international stage.

"It appears to me, unfortunately for Martyn it's going to be 99 and out," said Lewis.