Wales sweat on Davies
Centre doubtful for Rome trip
Last Updated: 22/02/11 11:12am
Davies: fitness race
James Hook could lose the Wales number 10 shirt for Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash against Italy despite his impressive display at Murrayfield.
"Obviously 'Gats' picks the team, but I would have thought our strongest possible side will be on the pitch in Rome."
Neil Jenkins Quotes of the week
Hook orchestrated Wales' 24-6 victory over Scotland last time out - their first win since last season's Six Nations.
But an injury to centre Jonathan Davies might see Hook being switched into midfield for his third different starting position in three games.
Davies is battling to be fit for the Stadio Flaminio clash and versatile Hook would be an obvious replacement, although fly-halves Stephen Jones and Rhys Priestland also provide alternatives.
Hook featured at full-back in Wales' Six Nations opener against England, then moved to 10 for his first Test in that pivotal role since 2009.
Wales coach Warren Gatland will be reluctant to move Hook, such was his impact in Edinburgh, but the New Zealander might feel it is his best option.
Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins said: "Jon is a doubt at the minute. He is doing rehab and stuff and we will have another look at him on Tuesday.
"Hopefully he can make it. He hasn't done a great deal with us since the Scotland game, other than rehab. We will wait and see what happens."
Gatland is due to name his team on Tuesday, with fit-again Cardiff Blues wing Leigh Halfpenny a contender for the match-day 22.
But changes are set to be kept at a minimum, especially after events in Rome during the 2009 Six Nations.
On that occasion, Gatland made nine changes, including six up-front where the likes of Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones and Martyn Williams were all rested.
And it almost backfired before Gatland's team ground out a 20-15 win after trailing at half-time.
Jenkins added: "We nearly come unstuck two years ago. It is not easy to change players, with them coming in and out.
"You see that with any sport in that a lot of sides that make changes more often than not struggle in that game, whoever they play against.
"We were lucky to come through two years ago. I think we've got to pick our strongest possible side. We've only had one win in the last nine, and it is a big game for us.
"Obviously 'Gats' picks the team, but I would have thought our strongest possible side will be on the pitch in Rome.
"We know it is going to be very tough. We need another win - we want to back up what we did in Scotland and we need to play well."