Six Nations

Wales make two changes in frontrow

2015-03-17 13:59
Gethin Jenkins (AFP Photo)

London - Injuries to props Gethin Jenkins and Samson Lee saw Rob Evans and Aaron Jarvis drafted into the Wales team announced on Tuesday for Saturday's Six Nations finale against Italy.

Jenkins and Lee suffered hamstring and Achilles injuries respectively during Wales's 23-16 win over Ireland last weekend, so Evans and Jarvis have been brought in for the clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Head coach Warren Gatland has also included hooker Ken Owens, props Rhys Gill and Scott Andrews and scrum-half Gareth Davies on the bench, with scrum-half Mike Phillips missing out.

"Obviously it's disappointing for Gethin and Samson, but Rob and Aaron stepped up well last weekend and we expect the same on Saturday," Gatland said in a statement on the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) website.

"It was great to get the result we wanted in front of our home supporters last weekend and to give us a chance going into the last round of action."

Evans will be making his full debut, after he came on for Jenkins at half-time against Ireland, while Jarvis continues in place of Lee, having replaced him after only 12 minutes of the game in Cardiff.

Gatland revealed that Lee has sustained a rupture of the Achilles tendon and said that his chances of playing in the World Cup later this year were only "50-50".

"We were hoping he was going to have surgery on Monday, but there was too much swelling, and it has been put back a week," the New Zealander said.

"He is a 50-50 chance for the World Cup, but we are confident he has enough time to get back and be available for the World Cup. If things go well, he will not be far away."

Owens comes into the squad in place of Richard Hibbard, who has been following return-to-play protocols after taking a blow to the head during the Ireland game.

Wales go into the final weekend level on points with England and Ireland, but in third place due to points difference, leaving the quest for the title on a knife-edge.

"The challenge to us is to go to Italy and win, and try and win by a significant margin, but we know that's an extremely tough ask and the first job will be to simply get the result," Gatland added.

"Italy build their confidence around the scrum and line-out drive and that's an area we are going to have to compete strongly in at the start of the match."





15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4-Luke Charteris, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rob Evans

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Scott Williams

Read more on:    wales  |  six nations  |  gethin jenkins  |  rugby


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