Skipper boost for Wales

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from the Six Nations.

Skipper boost for Wales

Captain Ryan Jones has overcome injury to lead Wales against England this Saturday.

Jones replaces his namesake Dafydd Jones on the flank in the only change to the side that beat Scotland. Shane Williams and Andy Powell have been included but are not yet 100% clear of their injuries.

Winger Mark Jones is on standby for Williams while Dafydd Jones will return to the starting line-up if Powell is ruled out. Ryan Jones will shift to No 8 in this event.

Centre Gavin Henson wasn’t considered due to a calf injury.

Wales - 15-Lee Byrne, 14-Leigh Halfpenny, 13-Tom Shanklin, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-Shane Williams, 10-Stephen Jones, 9-Mike Phillips, 8-Andy Powell, 7-Martyn Williams, 6-Ryan Jones (captain), 5-Alun-Wyn Jones, 4-Ian Gough, 3-Adam Jones, 2-Matthew Rees, 1-Gethin Jenkins.
Subs: 16-Huw Bennett, 17-John Yapp, 18-Luke Charteris, 19-Dafydd Jones, 20-Dwayne Peel, 21-James Hook, 22-Andrew Bishop

Mallett calls up specialist

Nick Mallett has selected a specialist scrumhalf in Paul Griffen for Sunday’s battle against the Irish.

The Kiwi-born Griffen replaces Mauro Bergamasco who moves back to the flank. Aussie flyhalf Luke McClean will partner Griffen at halfback.

“The halfbacks are those who, at this time, can give us the guarantees and enable us to make the most of our backs,” said Mallett.

“Luke McLean replaces Andrea Marcato, who is unavailable due to injury while playing Paul Griffen at scrumhalf is the best option we have at this moment.

“Mauro Bergamasco returns to the backrow and I think we can expect him to have a great game.”

Italy - Andrea Masi; Kaine Robertson, Gonzalo Canale, Mirco Bergamasco, Matteo Pratichetti; Luke McLean, Paul Griffen; Sergio Parisse (c), Mauro Bergamasco, Alessandro Zanni; Tommaso Reato, Santiago Dellape; Martin Castrogiovanni, Fabio Ongaro, Salvatore Perugini.
Subs: Carlo Festuccia, Carlos Nieto, Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Josh Sole, Giulio Toniolatti, Gonzalo Garcia, Andrea Bacchetti.

Fritz handed three week ban

Florian Fritz will miss France’s games against Scotland and Wales after receiving a three-week suspension for striking an opponent during his side’s match against Ireland.

The Toulouse centre was, however, cleared of eye-gouging an unnamed Ireland player – believed to be Stephen Ferris – during last weekend’s clash in Dublin.

Fritz will be available for his side’s final two Six Nations matches against England and Italy. The 25-year-old will be replaced by Benoit Baby, with Maxime Mermoz included among the substitutes.

France – 15 Clement Poitrenaud; 14 Maxime Medard, 13 Benoit Baby, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Cedric Heymans, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Romain Millo-Chluski, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski , 1 Fabien Barcella.
Subs – 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Renaud Boyoud, 18 Sebastien Chabal, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Julien Malzieu.

This post will be updated throughout the day.