Wales suffer Morgan jaw Blow

Wales and Dragons full-back Kevin Morgan will miss the RBS Six Nations Championship visit to France after suffering from a broken jaw against Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend.

Morgan, who withdrew from the field for blood in the second half of Wales’ defeat to the Scots, has had two separate x-rays on his mouth, the second of which today showed a break. Team physiotherapist Mark Davies has also revealed Ospreys No8 Ryan Jones will not train this week and is facing a race to return to full contact training by next Monday.

The Wales squad is boosted by the news that a medical scan on Jones’ regional colleague James Hook has revealed limited damage. And another boost comes with Shane Williams (side-strain) and former squad member Lee Byrne (knee) dubbed fit to play for their region, as Wales release 15 squad members to domestic rugby action this weekend – although Gareth Delve (ankle) needs a further week’s recovery.

“Kevin was reviewed by a dentist back in Wales yesterday (Monday) following a further x-ray and then referred to a facial surgeon who identified a fracture within his jaw bone,” said Davies. “For best management and with the aim of achieving the earliest return to action it has been decided that Kevin will undergo an operation.

“He will not be available to face France and his availability for the rest of the Championship is uncertain, but we are not ruling out a return at this stage. “Ryan suffered a calf strain and although his recovery has been substantial in the last couple of days we will not know until the end of the week whether he will be able to take a full part in training ahead of our visit to France.

“James (Hook) had a scan to his knee yesterday (Monday) which revealed no structural problem. “Essentially he has suffered a bleed from his thigh into the back of his knee which will mean he will take no part in training this week, but the prospects of him rejoining full contact training next Monday are high.

“Gareth Delve, who has been out with an ankle problem, will miss any action this weekend but hopes to take a full part with us next week. Shane Williams and long term injury victim Lee Byrne have both been given the all clear to play.”

Head coach Gareth Jenkins will release almost half his squad, including Williams, back to their regions and clubs this weekend to further assess form. Jenkins is heading out to Ulster to watch their match with the Dragons this Friday night and kicking coach Neil Jenkins will report back to camp from the Scarlets match in Glasgow.

The Wales management team will also be heavily represented at the Ospreys’ clash with Connaught on Saturday, although attack coach Nigel Davies, defense coach Rowland Phillips and set-peice coach Robin McBryde will remain in camp for training sessions with non-released players.

“We have an amicable arrangement with each of our four regions which says that we will release as many of their players as possible on relevant weekends,” said Jenkins. “The players listed will all return to their regions tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be available for selection if required by their regional coaches.

“Some of these players are in need of rugby matches and will relish the chance to turn out for their regions and show their form. “We have always said as coaches that the door is never shut on any player and we will be watching all the regions and relevant English premiership matches this weekend with great interest. “Those players who have not been made available are withheld due to the need for an extended period of recovery or through injury.”

Back to regions/clubs

SCARLETS: Matthew Rees, Gavin Evans, Gavin Thomas
OSPREYS: Brent Cockbain, Adam Jones, Gavin Henson, Shane Williams, Johnathan Thomas
DRAGONS: Aled Brew, Ceri Sweeney, Gareth Cooper, Colin Charvis
GLOUCESTER: Mefin Davies
HARLEQUINS: Hal Luscombe

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