Six Nations: Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones fit for Scotland Test after head injury concerns
Veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones will be available for selection for Wales’ Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Head coach Warren Gatland initially ruled the most capped Test player of all time out of the meeting after Jones took a head knock against Ireland, but he has now been cleared to face the Scots.
Jones head knock and HIA
Jones left the pitch for a head injury assessment during Wales’ 34-10 home defeat against Ireland on Saturday.
The lock could not re-join the action after producing an abnormal result for his HIA1 test, but subsequent – and more detailed – HIA2 and HIA3 assessments came back normal. He also did not show any signs or symptoms of concussion, with a neck injury diagnosed, although not one to sideline him this weekend.
This means that Jones will be available for selection to Warren Gatland, while it is also understood that Wales’ medical team have been in contact with the Six Nations and World Rugby to keep them across the situation.
Further interrogation of video footage and an interview with the former Lions captain was done, and it has been confirmed that he did not suffer a concussion.
Meanwhile, defence coach Mike Forshaw bemoaned Wales’ ill-discipline against Ireland after his side conceded nine penalties in the opening quarter of the match.
“Nine penalties in the first 20 minutes cost us field position against a good side,” 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.”
Forshaw added that Wales must start better in their second Six Nations match against Scotland.
“We have to start better than we did last week, that’s the first thing on my brain,” he said. “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.”
The threat of Duhan van der Merwe
After scoring two crucial tries in the win over England, Duhan van der Merwe will be the focus of a lot of analysis this week for Wales.
Forshaw acknowledged the threat that the powerful winger possess but also critiqued England’s kicking tactics with Van der Merwe, Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell in the Scotland backline.
“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 said.
“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 produced something out of nothing and left a trail of destruction.”
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