WALES have suffered a massive World Cup blow after Taulupe Faletau was ruled out of the tournament by injury.

The Pontypool-raised back row forward suffered a blow to his collarbone in training and needs surgery.

A timeframe for recovery will be established after Faletau, who left the Dragons for Bath in 2016, has gone under the knife but he will miss Japan 2019.

The Lions number eight was a leading figure when Wales made the semi-finals in New Zealand in 2011 and was once again to the fore in England four years ago.

His absence is a blow for head coach Warren Gatland but Wales have coped without Faletau in 2018/19 while he was sidelined with a broken arm.

The trio of Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty impressed in the Six Nations Grand Slam with Dragons prospect Aaron Wainwright thriving off the bench.

That quartet now look certain to be in the 31-strong World Cup squad with fit-again blindside Aaron Shingler now in pole position to join them.

Scarlets openside James Davies is also in the training squad while Ellis Jenkins and Thomas Young were not selected while on the road to recovery from knee and foot injuries respectively.