Hook called up to Wales autumn squad
ESPN Staff
November 9, 2014
James Hook will be given the chance to add to his 76 Wales caps © Getty Images

Gloucester fly-half James Hook has been called into Wales' autumn Test squad.

Hook, 29, will report to Wales' training base on Monday ahead of next Saturday's Millennium Stadium clash against Fiji, the Welsh Rugby Union said. It follows an injury suffered by fly-half Dan Biggar during the 33-28 defeat against Australia on Saturday.

Biggar limped off early in the second half nursing a groin strain, suggesting that he might be a doubt for the Fiji encounter.

Hook, who has won 76 caps and can also provide options at full-back and centre, was a surprise omission from Wales head coach Warren Gatland's original 34-man autumn squad.

In a statement, the WRU said: "Hook will link up with the squad tomorrow when they gather to prepare for Saturday's clash against Fiji. No players have been released from the squad."

Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, suffered what has been described as mild concussion during the Wallabies clash. The full-back departed 10 minutes before half-time and he will now follow the necessary concussion protocols. It is likely, though, that he would have been rested against Fiji anyway, with Liam Williams starting in the number 15 shirt.

Collectively, Wales were left licking their wounds following a 10th successive defeat against Australia, despite scrum-half Rhys Webb scoring an early try and the home side leading with just eight minutes left.

Webb also turned villain when he gifted an interception try to the Wallabies' magnificent full-back Israel Folau,and it was that type of day for Wales - very good in parts, very poor in others.

"We had been struggling over the last couple of years, getting off to a slow start, but we'd had a gruelling two weeks and we started the game as we had been training, which was pleasing," Webb said. "I was happy with my try, but then I gave away a silly interception.

"If it had gone to Liam Williams it would have been a different story, but it is one of those things. Onwards and upwards. At first, I thought it was going straight to Liam and we were going to celebrate. If it had gone to Liam, he would have been between the sticks."

Webb made way for Mike Phillips during the third quarter and, although Wales inched 28-27 ahead through a converted penalty try 16 minutes from time, they were undone by Bernard Foley's late drop-goal and penalty.

"The forwards dug in well and a couple of scrums led to that fourth try, but it was full-time before we knew it. We didn't have time to get back," Webb added. "It is disappointing we didn't get the result. It was there for us, but we have to take the positives. We need to cut out the errors and a few missed tackles.

"It is obviously very disappointing. We were so close again. There is a lot of disappointment. There were little errors and missed tackles, which are fixable. We will prepare well for Fiji now, and then the All Blacks. We just need to touch up on a few bits and bobs."

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