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 closing minutes of Saturday’s defeat to Australia.
Wales did not issue an update on Davies’s condition, but ankle ligament damage is suspected and the head coach, Warren Gatland, said on Saturday night that the injury “did not look good.”
The only direct replacement for Davies, an outside-centre, in the squad 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 to the Principality Stadium, Gatland has the option of playing Scott Williams, an inside-centre by preference, at 13 having used Owen Williams as a second playmaker at 12 against the Wallabies.
The 31-year-old Roberts, who captained Wales on their summer tour against Tonga and Samoa, was dropped from the squad last month for the first time since Gatland took over at the end of 2007. The 93-cap Harlequin was told that it did not herald the end of his international career, but he would not have anticipated such a quick return.
“I am disappointed but understand the reasons why,” said Roberts last week when asked about his omission. “I will keep doing what I do best and hope that, come the Six Nations, I get another shot.”
The Bath prop Scott Andrews also reported for training at Wales’s camp in the Vale of Glamorgan on Monday 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 next month. As the match falls outside the official international window, clubs are not obliged to release players.
The Wales 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.
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