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Versatile Shingler happy to plug any hole for Wales

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By Reuters
Versatile Shingler happy to plug any hole for Wales
Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool D - Wales v Georgia - City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan - September 23, 2019 Wales' Aaron Shingler poses for a photograph with fans after the match REUTERS/Matthew Childs   -   Copyright  MATTHEW CHILDS(Reuters)

OTSU, Japan (Reuters) – Wales’ injury woes at lock has seen loose-forward Aaron Shingler act as emergency cover in the second row at the Rugby World Cup, but there is no issues with the revolving roles for a player who previously represented England in junior international cricket.

Shingler came off the bench to feature in the lock position in the Pool D victories over Georgia and Australia, with Adam Beard recuperating after an appendectomy and Cory Hill not managing to recover from a leg fracture.

Hill has been replaced in the squad by the experienced Bradley Davies, but Shingler was still preferred off the bench in the 29-25 win over Australia on Sunday, his case strengthened by the fact that he also provides cover for the loose-forwards.

“It’s been very unexpected, yes, but I’m very happy to be involved. Coming over here, it is great to be involved in the 23 and I’ll play any position I can,” Shingler told reporters on Monday.

The 32-year-old says he is unsure of coach Warren Gatland’s plans for later in the tournament, but the likelihood is that captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball, who started the first two games, will be rested at some stage during the pool stages.

“I don’t know, we will have to see how people are pulling up after games. I’m comfortable in that position. I’m more comfortable playing in the back row, but if I have to play in the second row I’ll be more than happy to do it,” Shingler said.

It is not a totally new role for Shingler, he came off the bench in the lock position in a 33-10 home loss to New Zealand in 2012.

Wales are in pole position to top Pool D and Shingler says the victory over Australia has put an extra spring in the step of the players.

“There was great excitement in the group after we got the win. On the bus journey back there was some good banter, a good feeling,” he said.

“The boys had a quiet few beers then and relaxed, had a bit of food and went to bed as normal. Waking up this morning there was a great buzz in the camp.”

Wales are next in action against Fiji in Oita on Oct. 9.

(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)