RUGBY : Wales boss Warren Gatland looks set to summon exciting Scarlets midfield prospect Jonathan Davies for next Saturday’s Test match against Argentina.
Wales boss Warren Gatland looks set to summon exciting Scarlets midfield prospect Jonathan Davies for next Saturday’s Test match against Argentina.
The 21-year-old can expect a call when Gatland names his team on Tuesday as he is in pole position to replace experienced Cardiff Blues centre Tom Shanklin, who suffered a small fracture to a bone in his nose during the laboured 17-13 victory over Samoa last Friday.
“Tom has a small fracture to the nasal bone which will limit his involvement in preparations this week,” said Wales team physiotherapist Mark Davies. “It will therefore rule him out of selection for the Argentina game.”
He added: “There is a certain amount of swelling which will take a few days to settle down, but the injury requires no further treatment and he should be back in contention next week.”
Gatland has asked Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop to join the training camp as cover for Shanklin, although he is not currently part of the autumn squad.
One option for Gatland would be to switch James Hook from full-back into midfield alongside Jamie Roberts.
But Hook has proved a success in the number 15 shirt, while 6ft 1in Davies impressed through some powerful attacking moments during the Samoa clash.
Davies started both Tests of Wales’ summer tour this year, scoring two tries against the USA in Chicago, and is now poised to win his fourth cap.
Gatland is likely to make at least four other changes from the side pushed so close by Samoa. The Lions quartet of wing Shane Williams, fly-half Stephen Jones, hooker Matthew Rees and flanker Martyn Williams can all expect recalls after being rested for the Samoa encounter.
And Gatland must also take a close look at the scrum, where Samoan tighthead – former Saracens prop Census Johnston – caused Wales considerable trouble.