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Wales Linchpin Should Be Fit For Autumn Series

Wales captain Sam Warburton should be fit for the autumn series, according to Wales Online.

The 27-year-old suffered a cheekbone fracture during a clash of heads with Leinster’s Josh van de Flier in Cardiff’s 16-13 defeat to the Dubliners at the weekend.

It looked possible that the 67 times capped flanker would miss a part of, or the whole of Wales’ autumn campaign, which kicks off on November 5th against Australia.

But the fracture was only a minor one and he will have a plate inserted into his cheek on Tuesday and will only be out for two-four weeks.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 18: Sam Warburton of Wales looks on during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Wales at Westpac Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The Blues are hoping the experienced backrower will be back in three weeks, just in time for their second European Challenge Cup fixture against French Top 14 side Pau at the Arms Park on October the 21st. Bath and Bristol complete a pretty tough pool for the Welshmen.

The news will be a boost to Wales interim head coach Rob Howley with No. 8 Taulupe Faletau likely to miss at least a part of the series.

The injury, suffered in the 13th minute of Saturday’s clash, is apparently similar to the one Warburton’s Welsh teammate Dan Lydiate suffered during last year’s World Cup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Dan Lydiate of Wales is tackled by Trevor Nyakane of South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on October 17, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Ospreys blindside Lydiate received a heavy blow to his eye socket during Wales’ pool win over Fiji, and sat out their final pool match against Australia, in which they lost.

But after having a metal plate inserted into his face, the tough former Dragons and Racing 92 backrower returned for Wales’ narrow quarter-final defeat to South Africa.

If, as expected, he does make Wales’ opening game, Warburton will lead the Welsh out for the 50th time against Australia and will be hoping to help his team to a first win over the Aussies since 2008.

Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena

About Hefin Jones

Hefin Jones
Hefin is a sports anorak with a love for cricket, boxing and football but a particular penchant for rugby. English teacher, Journalism student and Scarlets fan. Attempt to tweet trilingually @hefrhys.

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