Roberts recalled by Wales after Davies injury
Wales have recalled Jamie Roberts to provide midfield cover for Jonathan Davies after the Lions’ player of the series in New Zealand suffered an ankle injury in the defeat by Australia.
Wales did not issue an update on Davies’s condition but ankle ligament damage is suspected and Warren Gatland said on Saturday that the injury “did not look good.”
The only direct replacement for Davies, an outside-centre, is Owen Watkin, the 21-year old Osprey who won his first cap against Australia when he replaced Owen Williams 12 minutes from the end.
If Davies is ruled out for the rest of the series, which continues with Georgia on Saturday before New Zealand and South Africa roll up, Gatland has the option of playing Scott Williams at 13 having used Owen Williams as a second playmaker at 12 against the Wallabies.
“We’re still waiting on Jon,” said the skills coach Neil Jenkins. “Everyone saw it and it doesn’t look great. He’s going to struggle for the rest of this autumn but we hope it’s not too serious. I’m not saying he’s out but we just need to see where he’s at. He’s world-class but Jamie will fit in naturally, an outstanding player who was unlucky to miss out originally.”
The 31-year old Roberts, who captained Wales on their summer tour to Tonga and Samoa, was dropped last month for the first time since Gatland took over in 2007.
The Bath prop Scott Andrews also reported for training yesterday morning. He was brought in as cover with Samson Lee, who missed the match against Australia, struggling with an achilles tendon problem.
Andrews is on loan at Bath from Cardiff Blues, which would lead to a poser if he is needed for the final match of the series against South Africa. The game falls outside the official international window and clubs are not obliged to release players.
The tighthead Tomas Francis will return to Exeter but it is a matter for negotiation whether Andrews would be covered by Premiership Rugby’s blanket ban on players being released for fourth internationals. Wales expect the scrumhalf Rhys Webb and the flanker Justin Tipuric to be available this weekend.
Jamie Roberts is back in the Wales fold after being dropped for the first time in 10 years and must be surprised to be back so soon