Hook ruled out of England clash
February 23, 2012
James Hook was set for a place on Wales' bench against England © Getty Images
James Hook will miss Wales' Six Nations clash with England after failing to recover from chicken pox.
The Perpignan fly-half is replaced on the bench by the Scarlets' Stephen Jones as Wales go in search of a Triple Crown at Twickenham on Saturday.
Hook missed training with the Wales squad this week because he was unable to fly back due to the virus. Wales had hoped he would be able to join up with the squad prior to the Six Nations showdown but on Thursday evening medics ruled him out of the match.
A statement from the Welsh Rugby Union read: "Wales took the decision after medical advice that Hook was unlikely to to recover from chickenpox in time."
Earlier in the week Gatland had said: "We've spoken to James and the scabs are forming nicely. He contracted it last week. He's feeling good. It's whether he comes over on Wednesday and trains with us on Thursday or whether he flies directly into London from Perpignan on Thursday.
"We'll just see how he's feeling and what's best for him. We're lucky enough with the experience he has had. If he doesn't train with us and just meets up with the squad on Thursday in London, he'll be able to slot in to the team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd