Hibbard set to miss World Cup
August 21, 2011
Hibbard looks set to miss the World Cup after picking up an injury at the weekend © Getty Images
Richard Hibbard looks set to become the second Welsh hooker to be ruled out of the World Cup after picking up an injury in Saturday's 28-13 win over Argentina.
According to reports on Wales Online, Hibbard suffered ankle damage in Wales' final warm-up Test prior to the World Cup and looks certain to miss out on selection. Warren Gatland is due to name his final 30-man squad on Monday and the news will force the coach into a re-think in the front-row.
Following Matthew Rees' declaration that he will miss the World Cup, Hibbard's prognosis - with scans revealing his ligaments have become detached from the bone - will come as a big blow for Gatland. He still has Scarlets hooker Ken Owens, the Ospreys' Huw Bennett and Dragons' Lloyd Burns to call upon but Hibbard started Saturday's Test against the Pumas in bullish form.
There are further question marks surrounding the fitness of British & Irish Lions prop Gethin Jenkins and fly-half Stephen Jones with the duo failing to appear in any of Wales' three warm-up Tests. But Gatland seems optimistic on the fitness of Jones among the other fitness doubts. "Stephen Jones had a scan on Friday night," said Gatland. "He felt the calf a little bit in training, but it is not a huge concern for us. Rhys Priestland's not too far away and Ryan Jones will train next week.
"There is a long way between now and playing South Africa in that first game. We believe we are in good shape physically, and we have won five of our last seven games. We have that confidence."
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