VIDEO: The growing injury list
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Wales and Scotland both named their respective squads on Wednesday, and with Gatland’s line-up having a noticeable number of players currently nursing injuries, we took a look at the injury concerns of all four home nations.
Wales have a number of players out for the foreseeable future, such as Lydiate, Warburton and Jonathan Davies but are clearly optimistic a few players will return throughout the Championship.
“We have included a couple of players who are carrying injuries,” said Gatland.
“With Taulupe we are hoping he will be available towards the end of the campaign and Rhys [Priestland] picked up a knock at the weekend so we will see where he is at.
“It’s useful to have these experienced guys around camp and to have them included and to work with them.”
George North has just returned to training, while Hallam Amos remains sidelined following an ankle injury picked up in the Dragons New Year’s Eve clash with the Ospreys.
Scotland is currently in the midst of a front row crisis, with Fraser Brown, Willem Nel, Ross Ford, Zander Fagerson, Allan Dell, Al Dickinson and Darryl Marfo all currently out of action.
In Ireland Sean O’Brien is the latest injury concern for Joe Schmidt, having had a small procedure on his right hip last week, having looked in considerable pain in recent outings for Leinster.
Ireland will still be hopeful of having him back at some stage during the Championship, but the Tullow man won’t risk his health by rushing a return from injury.
“You learn as you get on a little bit that there’s no point in… if it was a final this weekend then, yeah, you could push it up but with what lies ahead as well you’d be in doubt or probably do something worse to it,” said O’Brien.
“I’ve taken my time and just made sure it’s right because there are loads of lads at the minute playing really well so there’s no point in me going out there 50 percent when there are lads that are playing at 100 percent.”
Other notable injury concerns for the Irish are Garry Ringrose, Joey Carbery and Adam Byrne.
Lastly, England has found themselves light in the back row department following injuries to Billy Vunipola, Nathan Hughes and a James Haskell red card against Harlequins.