Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones given go-ahead to face Scotland on Saturday
Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones given the go-ahead to face Scotland on Saturday after initially being ruled out amid concussion concerns… with team medics now saying he suffered a neck injury against Ireland
- Jones went off with a head injury during Saturday’s home defeat by Ireland
- Subsequent assessments did not show any signs or symptoms of concussion
- Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday
Wales’ record cap holder Alun Wyn Jones is available for selection to face Guinness Six Nations opponents Scotland at Murrayfield.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland initially said that second-row forward Jones had been ruled out after he went off for a head injury assessment during the 34-10 home defeat against Ireland on Saturday.
The match-day doctor made that call and with Jones’ HIA1 producing an abnormal result, he did not rejoin the action.
But Jones’ subsequent – and more detailed – HIA2 and HIA3 assessments were normal and he did not show any signs or symptoms of concussion, with a neck injury diagnosed, although not one to sideline him this weekend.
It is understood that Wales’ medical team have been in contact with the Six Nations and World Rugby to keep them across the situation.
Wales forward Alun Wyn Jones is available for selection to face Scotland at Murrayfield
There has also been further interrogation of video footage and an interview with the player and no concussion was confirmed.
Gatland is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday, with Wales preparing to face a Scotland team fresh from a thrilling Calcutta Cup victory over England.
Wales have won on six of their last seven visits to Edinburgh, yet they are already at a crossroads in this season’s Six Nations following the emphatic Ireland loss.
Gatland’s team cannot afford another setback, and an immediate response is required following Wales’ heaviest Six Nations home defeat for 22 years.
‘Nine penalties in the first 20 minutes cost us field position against a good side,’ Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Mike Forshaw said.
‘You can’t give away that number of penalties at this level, defending five-metre lineouts against Ireland, who we know are a very good side.
‘I just look at Scottish rugby at the moment. I don’t think Glasgow have lost since November, and Edinburgh beat Saracens in Europe. Then they go to England and beat England.
‘I think they are a group that are really on a high and have some good coaches. I’ve watched most of their games, and I thought they were super on the weekend. They pose a massive threat.
‘We have to start better than we did last week, that’s the first thing on my brain. We have to get into the game early without being under the pump with discipline, and there has been a bit of a focus on that.’
One player Wales know they will have to watch in forensic detail is Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe, who scored two stunning tries against England.
Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday
His first touchdown saw him beat several England defenders on a 60-metre run to the line, then he rounded off an outstanding team move as Scotland triumphed.
Forshaw added: ‘If you are going long and strong with your kicking game, you have to be strong defensively because he is coming at you with some speed.
‘He scored a wonder try at the weekend, probably one of the best tries I have ever seen.
‘(Stuart) Hogg can hurt you. Then you have Finn Russell, who will try things off the cuff. I have had experience of that coaching against Racing 92 (Russell’s club team) over the last few years.
‘We have to bring them to the fight a bit more and not give them long and strong opportunities.
‘The England tactics of going long were probably not great, but having said that, there is a bit of X-factor in that (Scotland) back-three.
‘He (Van der Merwe) is a bloke who can hurt you. I have seen him at Worcester in previous seasons, and he has created something out of nothing and left a trail of destruction.’
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