Mo­ri­arty faces race for fit­ness

Western Mail - - SPORT -

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.”

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