Davies set to hand Wales injury boost

Date published: January 21 2014

Wales centre Jonathan Davies is unlikely to play in his country's opener with Italy but will be ready to feature later in the tournament.

Wales centre Jonathan Davies is unlikely to feature in his country's opener with Italy but will be ready to challenge for a starting berth later in the tournament.

Davies isn't far off being declared fit for Wales' bid for an historic hat-trick of Six Nations in a row.

But the British and Irish Lions stalwart is unlikely to make the big kick-off, against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on February 1, as he completes the final stage of his recovery from the chest muscle injury he suffered on international duty against South Africa late last year.

The Clermont-bound midfielder's Scarlets coach Simon Easterby revealed the news as the Wales squad gathered to start preparing for their Six Nations campaign.

“Jonathan is not too long – he's being conditioned,” Easterby told Walesonline.

“He's in good shape but I don't know if he will be ready for the start of the Six Nations.”

Easterby believes Wales boss Warren Gatland will face a selection dilemma over what centre combination to field once Davies, Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams are all available.

But he's been delighted with the form of 23-year-old Williams, who has backed up a strong campaign during last year's November Tests with some impressive performances for the Scarlets in the Heineken Cup and PRO12 tournaments.

“Scott has been excellent this year. He goes into the Welsh camp with good performances under his belt,” added Easterby.

Williams scored a try and made some devastating breaks for the Scarlets against Harlequins in the Heineken Cup at Llanelli last weekend but was unable to prevent them from suffering a last-ditch 22-20 defeat to lose out on being parachuted into the Amlin Challenge Cup.

“He has been a stand-out player for us and played well in the autumn,” explained Easterby.

“It's a good selection quandary for Wales in the Six Nations.”