Welsh Rugby
Mitchell called up by Wales
May 27, 2010
Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell, Ospreys v Viadana, Heineken Cup, Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales, December 19, 2009
Craig Mitchell has been called up by Wales © Getty Images

Ospreys prop Craig Mitchell has been called into the Wales squad as cover for the injured Gethin Jenkins.

The tight-head will provide backup in forthcoming Tests against South Africa and New Zealand, beginning with a clash against the Springboks at the Millennium Stadium on June 5.

Jenkins was ruled out of contention for the tour with a persistent calf problem, which limited his involvement in the Six Nations and also forced him from the field at half-time in Cardiff Blues' European Challenge Cup victory over Toulon last weekend.

Mitchell, 24, has previously made three replacement appearances for Wales, against the USA, Canada and Samoa, while his place in the stand-by group has been taken by Blues youngster Scott Andrews.

"He will primarily cover Adam Jones' side of the scrum and, with Paul James pretty comfortable on both sides and John Yapp also with some experience on either side, we think we still have a good balance there," forwards coach Robin McBryde said.

"Our front row should be an experienced unit, with the likes of Adam and Matthew [Rees] both returning from the Lions tour in the summer with enhanced reputations, but the Springboks are by no means short on experience there themselves and with Smit leading from the front it should be quite a battle.

"We are also pretty familiar with the talents of BJ Botha at Ulster and we will all be watching how the Ospreys go this weekend, with a particularly interesting battle going on between Paul James and CJ van der Linde, who could well be up against each other again in international colours the following week."

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