Priestland blow for Wales

Mon, 13 May 2013 19:11
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Wales have been forced to call in some reinforcements, after injury struck their training squad for the tour to Japan.

Wales have been forced to call in some reinforcements, after injury struck their training squad for the tour to Japan.

Cardiff Blues flyhalf Rhys Patchell and Newport Gwent Dragons hooker Sam Parry have both been into the Welsh training squad, ahead of the trip to Japan.

Scarlets flyhalf Rhys Priestland has been ruled out of the tour.

Priestland aggravated his Achilles tendon in the warm-up of the Scarlets' 17-28 Pro12 semifinal loss to Ulster last Friday and will miss the two-Test tour.

Patchell, 19, who has scored 147 points in 22 appearances for the Blues this season and Haverfordwest-born Parry, joined up with the training squad when they met for the first time Monday.

Ken Owens, Scott Williams and Liam Williams who picked up knocks in the defeat to Ulster, will continue to be monitored by the medical team.

* Meanwhile Japan coach Eddie Jones named a 35-man squad Monday ahead of the upcoming IRB Pacific Nations Cup and the two-test series with Six Nations champions Wales.

The squad is based largely on the players that helped Japan to their sixth straight Asian Five Nations title, a campaign that saw them score 316 points and concede just eight.

There are, however, three notable additions in Shota Horie, Fumiaki Tanaka and Michael Leitch.

Hooker Horie and scrumhalf Tanaka have both started Super Rugby games in recent weeks for the Rebels and Highlanders, respectively, while flank Leitch has spent the last few months in New Zealand as part of the Chiefs expanded squad.

"After the successful Asian Five Nations, we have now picked a squad that we believe can win the Pacific Nations Cup and beat Wales and we're looking forward to having Horie, Leitch and Tanaka back in the squad after the Super Rugby," Jones said prior to going into camp with his players.

A number of players who picked up knocks during the Asian Five Nations or were rested for the latter stages have also been included, including Toshiaki Hirose who led the side in the first two tests before damaging a hamstring.

“We realize that we need to keep working very hard on our strength and conditioning and the way we play the game, and hopefully guys like Hirose will rehab quickly and be back for selection as soon as possible," Jones said, adding that Masakazu Nagano would also train with the squad.

To help with the increased physicality of the games ahead, Fabio Ongaro (capped 80 times by Italy) and Marc Dal Maso (who won 33 caps for France) will work with the squad as spot coaches.

The Brave Blossoms open their summer campaign against Tonga in Yokohama on May 25, before travelling to Fiji for a match on June 1.

They then return to Japan to play Wales on June 8 (in Osaka) and 15 (Tokyo), before wrapping up their PNC campaign with games against Canada and the United States on June 19 in Nagoya and June 23 in Tokyo.

Japan squad:

Forwards: Yusuke Nagae, Masataka Mikami, Takuma Asahara, Shota Horie, Takeshi Kizu, Yusuke Aoki, Hiroki Yuhara, Hiroshi Yamashita, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shoji Ito, Hitoshi Ono, Shinya Makabe, Justin Ives, Ryuta Yasui, Michael Broadhurst, Michael Leitch, Hendrik Tui, Takashi Kikutani, Ryu Koliniasi Holani.

Backs: Atsushi Hiwasa, Fumiaki Tanaka, Keisuke Uchida, Kosei Ono, Yu Tamura, Harumichi Tatekawa, Craig Wing, Ryoto Nakamura, Male Sau, Seiichi Shimomura, Yoshikazu Fujita, Toshiaki Hirose, Yuta Imamura, Hirotoki Onozawa, Kenki Fukuoka, Ayumu Goromaru.