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Fiji flyhalf Muntz ruled out of Rugby World Cup after injuring his knee in practice

Fiji's players celebrate at the rugby union international match between England and Fiji at Twickenham stadium in London, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Fiji beat England by 22-30. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji flyhalf Caleb Muntz has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after sustaining a knee injury during a practice session less than a week before the tournament kicks off.

The Fiji Rugby Union posted a statement on its official website Wednesday saying the young playmaker hurt his knee in a non-contact practice session in France on Monday.

“It’s most devastating for us as a group and for Caleb, he has worked so hard for the past two years with the Fijian Drua and for Flying Fijians," head coach Simon Raiwalui said in a statement. "We feel for him as a young man he misses the opportunity so close to the Rugby World Cup.”

Raiwalui hasn't announced a replacement for the 33-player squad. Fiji opens its Pool C campaign against Wales on Monday at Bordeaux, and faces two-time champion Australia at Saint Etienne on Sept. 18.

“Once we name the team for the match against Wales we will have utmost faith in whom we have selected,” Raiwalui said.

Muntz, a reliable goalkicker and solid defensive flyhalf, made his test debut for Fiji against Tonga this year and played an important role in the upset 30-22 win over England at Twickenham last month.

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AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby