Moriarty faces race for fitness
WALES have a fresh injury concern over No.8 Ross Moriarty with their Six Nations Championship clash with Ireland in Dublin a little over a week away.
The Gloucester back-rower picked up a knock to the shoulder in Saturday’s 12-6 defeat to England at Twickenham and has been ruled out of the Cherry & Whites’ Aviva Premiership trip to Worcester Warriors this weekend.
Moriarty has only recently returned to action after two spells of back problems, first picked up in the opening game of the Lions tour last summer, that has curtailed most of this season for the 19-times capped 23-year-old.
Although the shoulder problem isn’t thought to be too serious, it raises question marks whether Moriarty will be fit to take his place in the Welsh backrow at the Aviva Stadium on February 24.
It’s more of a concern particularly as Lions No.8 Taulupe Faletau is still a week or two away from making a return to the fray for Bath after more time on the sidelines with knee problems.
As the Six Nations takes a break this weekend, Gloucester would have been able to call on Moriarty’s services for the short trip up the M5 to Sixways.
But Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann said: “Ross is not available for selection as he’s picked up a bit of a shoulder (injury) in Saturday’s Test match.
“We’re obviously going to give him the opportunity to do his rehab and do his things so that he can be available for selection when the Six Nations starts again.”
WALES U-20s captain Will Jones has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with Ospreys.
The 19-year old openside has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the region, making his debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in November and going on to feature regularly in the Guinness PRO14 and Champions Cup. He is the second youngster to secure a professional deal in recent weeks after stepping into the senior environment this season, following on from scrum-half Reuben MorganWilliams.
Jones, who came through the pathway at Penclawdd RFC and Gowerton Comprehensive, said: “I’m very happy, obviously. I’ve been here since the U16s and this is the next step.”