Eyes centre as Jonathan Davies ruled out
February 17, 2014
Down and about to be out ... Jonathan Davies goes down with his injury last November © Getty Images
Centre Jonathan Davies has been ruled out of Wales' Six Nations clash with France on Friday after failing to recover fully from a pectoral injury.
To add to Warren Gatland's headaches, a potential replacement, Ashley Beck of Ospreys, has also been ruled unfit, leaving him two options. One is play James Hook into the centre alongside Jamie Roberts or bring Northampton's George North in off the wing with Liam Williams taking over that role.
Davies tore a muscle in his chest during Wales' November Test against South Africa and although he returned to action for the Scarlets at the start of the month he is not yet considered fit enough to last at international level.
Beck had been called in to train with Wales and played an hour for the Ospreys on Sunday, but Wales' forward coach Robin McBryde said: "He feels he's not quite ready for the step up into international intensity. He wouldn't be doing himself any justice. He's been pretty honest with himself.
"We are a bit thin in the centre and people know the names of the individuals within the squad. There has been no definitive decision made and everyone is well aware of our lack of strength in depth in that position currently."
It was not all bad news for Gatland. Lock Luke Charteris was declared fit after sustaining a hamstring injury against Italy. "Luke is fine," said McBryde. "He trained with us last week, he has passed all the fitness tests and he has taken a full part this morning as part of the units session with the forwards, and he has come through that all right, so everything is looking positive as far as he is concerned."
Blues pair Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins also came through their game against Glasgow on Saturday evening.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship