Rob Howley hopeful Ryan Jones will be fit for Wales' Six Nations opener against Ireland
Last Updated: February 4, 2013 8:07am
Ryan Jones: Expected to be fit to take on Ireland
Wales interim head coach Rob Howley is confident that Ryan Jones will be fit to feature in their Six Nations opener against Ireland.
The Wales squad has been decimated by injuries, with Rhys Priestland, Aaron Jarvis and Luke Charteris ruled out of the entire competition.
The likes of Alun-Wyn Jones, Bradley Davies and Dan Lydiate are also currently unavailable, but Howley has received positive news on Ryan Jones' recovery from a dislocated thumb.
"With Ryan it is just the healing process," Howley said. "Thankfully, scans and x-rays showed there was no fracture. We are confident he will be available for selection for the Ireland game."
Jones (shoulder) and Lydiate (ankle) will miss the first two games against Ireland and France, but they could return for the latter stages of the tournament.
Howley added: "Dan is ahead in terms of his recuperation at the moment. He is ahead of schedule, but we are obviously mindful of workload. We will take that decision as, and when, we need to.
"Player welfare is so important, and we need to look after Dan and just not put him in for the sake of putting him in. If he's right, both physically and mentally, and he is available then he comes into our selection."
Howley will have Adam Jones available after the prop missed the autumn internationals with a knee injury.
Wales suffered defeats to Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia, and Howley said: "We certainly missed Adam in the autumn series.
"When you look at his influence in the world game, he is probably one of the best tightheads in world rugby. I am sure he will have a huge influence.
"The competition in our front-row and the experience we've got there, it can be a focal part of this Six Nations campaign."