Welsh wounded worry Gatland

Tue, 14 Jan 2014 06:50
Large sam warburton wales dejecte

Injury concerns are threatening to overshadow Wales coach Warren Gatland's Six Nations squad announcement on Tuesday.
 

Injury concerns are threatening to overshadow Wales coach Warren Gatland's Six Nations squad announcement on Tuesday.

Wales are bidding to win a third outright title in succession, something never achieved before in the tournament's history.

But several senior players may not be fully fit by the time of their tournament opener against Italy in Cardiff on February 1.

Gatland's squad announcement will also take place against a back drop of civil war within Welsh rugby that has pitted the Welsh Rugby Union against the four professional regions in a battle for the future of the game in the Principality.

The most pressing issue for Gatland concerns Wales captain Sam Warburton - the skipper of the British and Irish Lions side the New Zealander coached to a 2-1 series win in Australia last year.

Loose forward Warburton has not played since suffering a shoulder injury during Wales' 30-26 defeat by Australia at the Millennium Stadium in November and Cardiff Blues coach Phil Davies reckons the flank is still a fortnight away from full fitness.

That doesn't leave Warburton with much time to regain match sharpness ahead of the Italy game.

Prop Gethin Jenkins is also doubtful after he suffered a leg injury in the Blues' European Cup defeat by Toulon last weekend.

Behind the scrum, Jonathan Davies is set to miss the first three games of the Six Nations with the pectoral injury he sustained in Wales' loss to South Africa in November.

But fellow centre Jamie Roberts, who missed the entire end-of-year series, is on course to return from an ankle injury for Racing Metro this weekend.

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sat, 20 February 2016
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Gloucester 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
France 2 2 0 0 4
Wales 2 2 1 0 3
England 1 1 0 0 2
Ireland 2 0 1 1 1
Italy 1 0 0 1 0
Scotland 2 0 0 2 0