herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Jones could be forced into second-row role

RYAN JONES could find himself pressed into second-row duty when Wales continue their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.

Wales coach Warren Gatland will discover later today the extent of Bradley Davies' punishment for his reckless tip-tackle on Ireland forward Donnacha Ryan in Dublin three days ago.

Davies, 25, faced an independent Six Nations disciplinary panel in London after being cited by match commissioner Achille Reali.

It appears inconceivable that 33 times capped Davies will avoid a ban, given the incident's severity.

Davies' second-row colleagues Luke Charteris and Alun-Wyn Jones are injured and unavailable, but flanker Dan Lydiate and prop Gethin Jenkins are expected to resume full training this week, following respective ankle and knee problems.

But a fully-fit Lydiate might facilitate a second-row switch for ex-Wales captain Jones, who performed superbly at blindside flanker in Dublin, although uncapped Scarlets lock Lou Reed provides another option.

Jones, though, has featured in the second-row this season, and he also offers Gatland the experience of 59 caps.

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins said: "We are very happy to have the extra day to prepare this week, and you have to feel for Ireland because they have a short turnaround before they go to Paris.

"It is such a physical game now that it is very difficult to have a six-day turnaround.

"Sunday will be a very tough game for us. If we take Scotland lightly we will come off second best.

"We have not forgotten two years ago when we were very lucky to win.

"We expect a very tough game, and we will need to be on edge and ready to win it."

The 23-21 Dublin victory was only Wales' third on Irish soil since the Six Nations began 12 years ago, but they have not lost at home against Scotland since 2002.

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