Wales' Tomas Francis is OUT of South Africa tour due to concussion

Wales prop Tomas Francis is OUT of South Africa tour due to concussion after he was knocked unconscious in Saturday’s dramatic last-minute loss to the world champions

  • Tomas Francis has been sent home by the WRU after suffering a concussion 
  • The Welsh prop was knocked unconscious after a collision with Steven Kitshoff 
  • Francis was part of the Welsh side narrowly beaten by South Africa on Saturday
  • He follows England’s Tom Curry as the back-row was sent home from Australia

Wales prop Tomas Francis will miss his team’s final two Tests with South Africa after suffering concussion in a 32-29 defeat by the Springboks last weekend.

Francis follows England back-row Tom Curry in being stood down from Test duty this summer after a head injury as both nations prioritise the wellbeing and welfare of their respective players.

Francis, 30, was knocked out after appearing off the bench against South Africa in Pretoria following a brutal collision with opposite number Steven Kitshoff.

Wales’ Tomas Francis will not take part in the rest of the tour in South Africa after a concussion

He was taken from the field after a long delay. Francis’ injury was all the more concerning given he also suffered a nasty head knock while on Wales duty against England in the Six Nations.

Francis was clearly concussed in that game at Twickenham but nonetheless returned to the field in a controversial incident that once again raised questions over rugby’s concussion protocols. It also prompted a Six Nations investigation.

That Six Nations review later found Francis should have been ‘immediately and permanently removed from play’ after a clear concussion.

Francis had to be assisted off the field having only recently come off the bench on Saturday

Despite the injury Wales boss Wayne Pivac does have two tighthead options in the squad

After his latest knock at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Francis has now been given the rest of the summer off to recover and will fly home on Tuesday.

A WRU statement read: ‘WRU medical team has withdrawn Tomas Francis from the remainder of the South Africa series following his concussion to allow him to optimise his recovery.

‘He returns home tomorrow. Dillon Lewis, Sam Wainwright and Harri O’Connor are the remaining tighthead props in the squad.’

Francis was only fit enough for the bench in Wales’ first Test with South Africa after struggling with a back knock with Lewis starting the game and then returning when his replacement was forced off.

Siya Kolisi, the South Africa captain, admitted that Wales got under the skin of his team

Wales will not call up any other forward replacements, but Francis’ injury means uncapped rookies Wainwright and O’Connor are now the only tighthead back-up options to Lewis.

‘We’ve got two other tightheads we’ve brought out with us in Sam and Harri so it’s a massive opportunity for either one of those,’ said Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys.

‘It’s a massive positive for them and for us because it increases our depth in that area and that’s what we’re after. I’m confident they’re ready to take on the occasion. They’re extremely impressive young people and they’ve worked their socks off since they’ve been over here.

Dan Biggar feels Wales can take confidence from their display in their defeat to South Africa

‘I’m confident the occasion won’t be too much for them and that they’ll go out there and give everything they’ve got.’

Wales excelled in their first Test with the world champion Springboks, only to lose to a penalty from Damian Willemse with the last kick of the match after suffering three yellow cards in the final quarter.

The second of the three-match series takes place in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

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