Rugby Union: Wales suffered a double injury blow today as they ramp up preparations for Friday’s clash against Samoa at the Millennium Stadium.
The Welsh Rugby Union announced that lock Alun-Wyn Jones (shoulder) and flanker Josh Turnbull (knee ligaments) will take no further part in an autumn series that also includes appointments with world champions New Zealand and Australia.
Jones went off during the first half of last Saturday’s 26-12 defeat against Argentina and has undergone a scan that will now sideline him, while Scarlets’ forward Turnbull was also hurt in the Pumas clash.
The news is an additional blow for coach Rob Howley given that the Dragons had already lost prop Adam Jones and flanker Dan Lydiate for all of their autumn fixtures due to injuries suffered earlier this season.
In better news, centre Ashley Beck and flanker Ryan Jones are on course to return against Samoa.
Centre Jamie Roberts, meanwhile, is continuing to be assessed for mild concussion and has a chance of facing Samoa, but his midfield colleagues Jonathan Davies is still battling to recover from a groin problem and is unable to train fully with the squad.
At this stage Wales have made no call-ups to their existing squad.
Meanwhile England attacking coach Mike Catt would not be drawn on whether they would make changes for Saturday’s encounter with Australia at Twickenham.
Stuart Lancaster’s side were 54-12 victors over Fiji last weekend with George Sharples standing out, scoring two tries.
But regular wing Chris Ashton is back from suspension, leaving the coach with a tough decision over who out of the two to leave on the sidelines.
“The guys are on top of their games and to be honest it’s about making sure what is the best team for us to beat Australia this weekend,” Catt said.
“Certain guys put their hands up at the weekend and performed well so there is no reason why we should change it.”
He added: “We all know what a capable side they (Australia) are. We are under no illusions, they will bring their A-game on the weekend.”