Craig Quinnell's Six Nations season is almost certainly over following a freak training accident. The 26-year-old Cardiff lock, who played for Wales in Saturday's Six Nations defeat by France, suffered a knee injury during a session of touch rugby
on Monday. He underwent a scan in Cardiff yesterday (Wednesday) and the initial predictions that he will miss the next six weeks.
It means the 19-stone second row is poised to miss the remaining Championship games against Italy, England and Scotland.
The news comes just five days after the former Llanelli and Richmond forward capped his 32nd Welsh appearance with the first of three Wales tries in the 37-33 defeat by Les Blues. Cardiff chief executive Bob Norster said, "I am waiting to speak fully to the medical staff but it's obviously of some concern for the player and ourselves. Craig has been playing well for Cardiff and Wales and to suffer an injury at this stage of the season is disappointing for all concerned."
His place in the Wales team for the game against Italy could go to Ian Gough, although coach Steve Hansen might opt for a second row partnership of Chris Wyatt and Andy Moore, providing the former is fit enough to return.
Gareth Thomas, who was axed from the Wales A squad last week, after failing to pitch up for a training session, has been invited to train with the senior squad this week, whilst Brett Sinkinson and Iestyn Thomas are also included in an extended party who will meet up again today (Thursday).
Hansen is likely to name his side for the Italian job on Monday morning and unless there are injuries over the weekend, he is unlikely to make sweeping changes. Spencer John and Robin McBryde could be dropped with Duncan Jones and Barry Williams waiting in the wings. Tom Shanklin is another under pressure but his centre partner Andy Marinos is sure to get a second start.
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.