Henry turns to Williams
Uncapped Cardiff full-back Rhys Williams has been named in a 22-man Wales squad for next Saturday's Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship clash against Ireland.
Wales coach Graham Henry will be forced to field a third different full-back in as many games at Lansdowne Road. Shane Howarth, along with flanker Brett Sinkinson, remains unavailable as an
investigation into his Welsh eligibility continues, while Matt Cardey is out for three weeks after being knocked unconscious during Llanelli's Welsh Cup quarter-final victory over Newport.
Henry could now turn to 20-year-old Williams, switch Stephen Jones from fly-half or field Test rugby's record points scorer Neil Jenkins at number 15. But Jenkins, today recalled to the Six Nations fray after a shoulder injury ruled him out of contention against Scotland, is not comfortable as a full-back.
He vowed never to play there again following a miserable experience during Wales' 60-26 defeat by England two years ago and the smart money is on Henry preferring Jones, Jenkins filling his familiar fly-half spot, with Williams among the replacements.
Concussed Cardey, Ebbw Vale fly-half Jason Strange and Newport flanker Alix Popham drop out of the match-day squad Henry used when Wales beat Scotland 26-18 nine days ago. Number eight Scott Quinnell is back and should oust Geraint Lewis as the solitary change up front. Henry, who will probably announce the starting line-up on Wednesday, has also recalled Swansea and British Lions centre Scott Gibbs.
Gibbs is not among the official 22-man group but trained today as cover for his Swansea midfield colleague Mark Taylor.
Taylor is nursing a badly bruised leg after being the victim of a stamping incident during Swansea's Welsh Cup win against Neath yesterday.
Gibbs, whose season has been badly disrupted by injury, last played for Wales in the World Cup quarter-final loss to Australia five months ago.