5 Players Who Are Serious Doubts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup - Ruck

5 Players Who Are Serious Doubts for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

With the 2023 Rugby World Cup fast approaching, international stars across the globe are putting their best foots forward to ensure they make the squad for France.

However, untimely injuries and changes to eligibility, sees these five players are serious doubts for rugby’s pinnacle competition.

CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 11: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland looks dejected leaves the field injured during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between France and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

An honourable mention must go to Ireland’s talisman Johnny Sexton. The 37-year-old suffered a groin injury in Ireland’s 2023 Six Nations crunch match against France, and was side-lined for their following victory over Italy. The fly-half returned to lead his side to Grand Slam glory over England, yet re-aggravated and worsened the injury in the process. Sexton looked doubtful for the Rugby World Cup, as it was announced he would require surgery on the injury.

Sexton’s lifelong Leinster career came to an abrupt end, as the Dubliner was ruled out of the remainder of his side’s United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup campaigns. However, today Sexton gave Ireland fans positive news of his return, ensuring them that he will be back at some stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Ireland are amongst the favourites to bring the Web Ellis trophy home, and aim to do so for the first time in their history.

Thankfully, Sexton has his sights set on a 2023 Rugby World Cup appearance, but less can unfortunately be said for these five players. Here are five international stars that are looking likley to miss the showdown event in France.

  1. Jonny Gray – Scotland
Jonny Gray of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs at Ashton Gate on 23 Apr. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The towering lock sees his Rugby World Cup contention hang in the balance, after suffering an unfortunately timed knee injury last Sunday. Gray suffered a dislocated knee, whilst playing for Exeter Chiefs in his side’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final defeat to La Rochelle.

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter highlighted how this is a bad scenario for the lock’s Scotland hopes.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 18: Jonny Gray of Scotland is tackled by Ben McCalman of Australia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between Australia and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on October 18, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

“It’s relatively serious without being the worst it could be. From what I’ve been told, unless the operation goes exceptionally well and his recovery is exceptionally quick, I would say he is very doubtful for the World Cup”

“It’s a patella tendon injury; he’s dislocated his kneecap.” Baxter added, confirming the extent of the injury.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“Fortunately, the other major ligaments within the knee are all stable,” he said. It’s a relatively complex patella tendon injury, which is going to require surgery this week, and there’s a relatively long period of rehab. We are hopeful to have him back fairly early next season, especially with the Premiership starting late next year with the World Cup first.”