Peel suffers injury blow

Hamstring problem likely to sideline Wales scrum-half in Rome

Last Updated: 09/03/09 7:41pm

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Peel: hamstring injury

Peel: hamstring injury

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Dwayne Peel is struggling to be fit for Wales' trip to Italy in the RBS Six Nations on March 14.

"The news thus far is not great. Dwayne was unable to travel last night but was expected to travel today. We will make a further assessment later, having had the results of the scan as well."
Mark Davies Quotes of the week

The scrum-half suffered a hamstring injury during his club Sale's 32-25 defeat at home to Newcastle in the Guinness Premiership last Sunday.

He had been named in the Wales XV to face Italy for what would be his first international start since last season's Six Nations.

But he now appears unlikely to be able to play in Rome, with Mike Phillips on stand-by to wear the number nine shirt.

And there could be an unexpected bench role for London Irish fringe player Warren Fury, the 23-year-old who was capped twice during Wales' South Africa tour last summer.

Fury, who is effectively fourth choice scrum-half at Irish, has not featured for his club since their European Challenge Cup victory over Italian minnows Rovigo on January 24.

To compound matters for Wales head coach Warren Gatland, two other scrum-half options - Gareth Cooper and Martin Roberts - are both under an injury cloud.

Gloucester star Cooper, Gatland's first choice during the autumn Tests, has recovered from the knee surgery he underwent in February but continues to be troubled by a groin problem.

Roberts, meanwhile, suffered a rib cartilage injury during the Scarlets' Magners League victory over Edinburgh on Sunday and is also being assessed.

Peel, the 2005 Lions Test scrum-half in New Zealand, has won six caps as a replacement for Wales this season, understudying Cooper and then Phillips.

He was one of 10 changes made by Gatland to the Rome-bound starting XV following Wales' Grand Slam-ending defeat against France in Paris.

Unpromising

"The news thus far is not great," said Wales physio Mark Davies on Monday.

"Dwayne was unable to travel last night but was expected to travel today.

"We will make a further assessment later, having had the results of the scan as well.

"Martin Roberts sustained a rib cartilage injury yesterday and went off in the second half. He is obviously very sore and we plan to run a few more tests on him.

"Gareth Cooper has fully recovered from his knee operation and he has had groin problems as well. He had some treatment and an injection for his groin last week.

"He has been under the care of Gloucester and we are awaiting a full report from them."

If Fury is drafted on to the bench - he linked up with the squad on Monday - then Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins claimed there would be "no issues" about him providing scrum-half cover.

"Warren was excellent for us last summer in South Africa, backing up Gareth Cooper," said Jenkins.

"He is a very good player and we will have no issues if it does come down to Warren becoming involved."

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