RWC 2011 Wales Injury Update
Stephen Jones and Gethin Jenkins are expected to return to full training this week making them both available for selection for Wales’ Rugby World Cup 2011 second round meeting with Samoa at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Sunday (3.30pm).
Centurion Jones and the 76-times capped Jenkins arrived with the rest of the squad at team headquarters in Lake Taupo this afternoon (Monday), from Wellington where they went down to world champions South Africa by 17-16 yesterday.
The news that the Scarlets fly-half and Blues prop should both sufficiently recovered from calf problems to put themselves in contention for selection this weekend is particularly welcome - but the Wales selectors will also be buoyed by the knowledge that they have no new significant injuries to contend with as a result of the clash with the Springboks.
The British and Irish Lions pair will be fully integrated into squad training from tomorrow (Tuesday 13th September), when Wales will stage an ‘open to the public session’ at Owen Delany Park, Taupo, from 2.30pm.
That means Wales should be just one player away from a full compliment when head coach Warren Gatland and his coaches come to select the side for the now must win clash with Samoa.
Only Ospreys back row Ryan Jones remains on the injury list, after aggravating a calf problem in training last week, but he will now be able to continue his stay with the squad as he bids to return to fitness in time for the final game of the Pool D against Fiji in three week’s time.
“Ryan will continue his rehabilitation with us and is still looking at a return to play time of around two to three weeks,” said WRU national medical performance manager Prav Mathema.
“The fact that we have been able to report no new significant injury concerns to the coaches from the weekend’s game means that the decision to allow him to stay and work at getting back to fitness in time for that Fiji match can still stand.
“We have been fortunate on the injury front and come through the South Africa game relatively unscathed with just a few minor bumps and bruises to contend with.
“Both Stephen and Gethin will be fully integrated into the training programme this week and, if they come through the periods of high intensity training, we would expect to make them both available to the selectors ahead of this weekend’s game.”