Rugby-Hill withdraws from Wales' preliminary World Cup squad

  • Rugby
  • Friday, 09 Jun 2023

(Reuters) - Lock Cory Hill has withdrawn from Wales' preliminary World Cup training squad, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said on Friday.

The former Cardiff Blues and Dragons player was last month recalled by coach Warren Gatland as part of a 54-man training squad for the tournament, after a two-year spell out of the team.

The WRU said Hill, who played for Yokohama Canon Eagles in Japan from 2021-23, pulled out "to pursue a club contract opportunity outside of Wales". It did not provide details on Hill's upcoming move.

"I'm gutted to be leaving the squad, but an opportunity has come up and I need to take it for my family," said Hill, who has 32 caps for Wales. "Wishing the boys all the best at the World Cup and I hope to be back in a Wales jersey in the future."

Several players have withdrawn from Wales' training squad, with Justin Tipuric, Alun Wyn Jones and Rhys Webb announcing their retirements, while Rhys Carre was released for failing to meet performance targets.

The World Cup in France will be held from Sept. 8-Oct. 28. Wales will face Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal in Pool C of the tournament.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Toby Davis)

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