Biarittz Olympique the French side has lost the services of their Samoan international Pelu Taele ahead of their clash with the Ospreys
While the Ospreys are hoping their Wales and British & Irish Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones may recover in time from surgery to face Biarittz Olympique in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup next week, the French side has lost the services of their Samoan international Pelu Taele.
The 6ft 6in tall New Zealand-born forward is set to sit out the next six weeks after damaging the medial ligament in his knee in last weekend's Top 14 victory over Toulouse in San Sebastien.
Taele has formed a highly effective second row pairing with Biarittz skipper Jerome Thion this season and has yet to lose in the Heineken Cup having played in five victorious Pool matches this season since joining the French outfit from Overmach Parma.
He injured his knee in the seventh minute of the 26-10 morale boosting victory over the three-times Heineken Cup winners. He was replaced by Manuel Carizza, the Argentinean international who played against Jones in the Invesco Perpetual Series match between Wales and the Pumas.
The 24-year-old Jones chipped a bone in his left elbow and damaged ligaments tackling Sean Lamont in Wales' bruising 31-24 win over Scotland in Cardiff in the RBS 6 Nations. That ruled him out of the remainder of the Championship and left him facing a race against time to be fit for the Estadio Anoeta showdown on 10 April.
"He underwent surgery to repair the ligament damage and remove some debris from the joint and is pushing hard to be available. But this is very much a 'best-case' scenario and we will assess his chances," said Ospreys physio Chris Towers.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.