Wales face anxious wait on Jenkins' fitness
March 1, 2013
Gethin Jenkins could miss Wales' match against Scotland © PA Photos
Wales prop Gethin Jenkins is facing a race against time to be fit for their Six Nations clash with Scotland.
The loose-head suffered a calf muscle injury in their 26-9 victory over Italy last Saturday. Jenkins subsequently returned to his club, who have said they expect him to be sidelined for 10 days, but he was due back with Wales on Thursday for further assessment.
"We will find out a bit more when he arrives here and the physios can cast an eye over him," Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said. "It is going to be a close call. We will have to see how he responds to treatment."
Bath prop Paul James would be the favourite to replace Jenkins if he is ruled out and interim coach Rob Howley will unveil his team selection for the Scotland clash on Tuesday. Howley is also likely to look at the second-row, where a fit-again Alun-Wyn Jones could dislodge Andrew Coombs, while Sam Warburton will challenge strongly for a back-row recall.
"I think there will be a couple of selection issues," McBryde said. "As much as we benefited from keeping the same team (after France) for Italy, there were certain areas we are always looking to improve upon. We have got strength in depth to choose from, so I dare say there will be a few discussion points."
While Coombs could miss out, Ian Evans should keep his place in the side. And he has admitted that he does not envy the task Howley has when picking his second-row line up. "A lot of people put a lot of doubt in Andrew's corner. But the true professional he is, he came out fighting and showed what kind of qualities he has got," Evans said. "It has added to our strength in depth within the second-row.
"We probably did lack that at one point, and now we are looking quite healthy again in that area. With Alun-Wyn, I don't think I need to explain that he's a quality player. He brings a lot of experience and professionalism, and his all-round game is good.
"He has got a game this weekend. If he comes through that, then it's going to be a tough call who gets that nod in that all-important game against Scotland. I probably wouldn't want to be the coach, there."
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