DRAGONS capain Cory Hill's World Cup is over after he failed to recover in time from a stress fracture of his leg.

The lock was selected in Wales’ 31-strong squad despite not having played since suffering an ankle injury in the Six Nations win against England in February.

Head coach Warren Gatland deemed that Hill was “worth the risk” and set the forward the target of a return against Australia on Sunday.

The Welsh management were confident that the Dragons skipper would be in contention but now the 27-year-old is heading back to his region with the Ospreys' Bradley Davies taking his place.

"Cory Hill has been released from Wales’ 2019 Rugby World Cup squad after being unable to recover significantly from a stress fracture of his fibula. He will return to Wales and continue his recovery with his region," read a statement.

"Bradley Davies, capped 65 times by Wales and who has featured in two previous RWCs, has been named as his injury replacement and will arrive in Japan on Wednesday."

Wales were down to their last two specialist locks – captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball – for the win against Georgia.

Adam Beard is on the comeback trail after flying to Japan late following the removal of his appendix, meaning that blindside Aaron Shingler covered in the opening clash.

Barry And District News: Cory Hill (pictured) and Ellis Jenkins will lead Wales out (Paul Harding/PA)

Hill has become a key figure in Gatland's side since winning his first cap against Australia in the autumn of 2016.

The lock has won 24 caps and grown as a leader to the extent that he co-captained Wales on the tour to face South Africa and Argentina last summer.

Hill scored the key try against the English in the third part of the Grand Slam in Cardiff but was injured while powering over the line after getting his leg stuck between Billy Vunipola and Harry Williams.

The Dragons skipper recovered to be named in Wales' World Cup training squad and was pencilled in for the first warm-up Test against England only to withdraw after complaining about a sore left foot.

The Welsh medical team eventually rescanned his leg and it showed a previously undetected fracture.

"Cory is pretty important to the group with his experience and his lineout calling, and he did a great job as co-captain in Argentina last year," said head coach Gatland after naming his World Cup squad. "We felt that it is worth the risk."

Hill spent time in an oxygen chamber in Swansea in a bid to make the Wallabies game but has run out of time.