RHODRI JONES has joined the Wales squad for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Italy in Cardiff.
Ospreys prop Jones has replaced Scarlets’ Alun Wyn Jones, after he was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with hamstring trouble.
Assistant coach Neil Jenkins backed 15-cap front-rower Rhodri Jones to settle straight into the task, as Wales bid to bounce back from two straight Six Nations losses.
“Well Rhodri had his first cap back in 2012, he’s been in the squad for some time, so he’ll fit right in,” Jenkins said of Ospreys prop Jones.
“It’s obviously very sad for Wyn.”
Wales are bidding to hit back from defeats to England and Scotland in order to close a frustrating Six Nations tournament on a high, with home fixtures against Italy and France remaining.
Bath’s British and Irish Lions back-rower Taulupe Faletau is back to full fitness after knee ligament trouble and itching to face the Italians in Wales colours.
Jenkins admitted Warren Gatland’s men will be boosted by the 27-year-old’s return.
“Taulupe’s an outstanding rugby player, he’s world class,” Jenkins said. “To have him fit and available for selection is massive for us.
“Him playing for Bath for the last couple of weeks is big for us.”
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