News in Brief
Gatland reassures skipper Jones
October 6, 2009
Wales captain Ryan Jones speaks to the media, Six Nations Championship Launch, Hurlingham Club, London, England, January 28, 2009
Ryan Jones has been given a boost by Wales boss Warren Gatland © Getty Images

  • Warren Gatland has broken his silence over Ryan Jones' Wales captaincy, insisting that he is very happy with the Ospreys No.8's leadership.

    Jones has been the subject of speculation after his poor form last season saw him miss out on selection for the original British & Irish Lions tour party, having been tipped by many to lead the tourists after captaining Wales to a Grand Slam in 2008.

    Jones has returned to form on the domestic stage in Magners League victories over Glasgow and Edinburgh and Gatland has assured him that if his form is good enough then the "captaincy takes care of itself."

    "Ryan Jones played one of the best games I've seen him play for a long time at Glasgow," Gatland told BBC Wales. "And he's backing that up with a good performance against Edinburgh.

    "There has been a lot of speculation of his Wales captaincy chances and I've never said anything about it because I've always said I've been very happy with the way he has captained Wales. The first thing is to ensure his form is good enough to get selected in the team then the captaincy takes care of itself."

  • Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani will have his knee injury reviewed in coming days to decide his availability for their opening European Challenge Cup fixture against Racing Metro at Adams Park on Sunday.

    Cipriani is "undergoing acute injury management" while fullback Lachlan Mitchell is suffering the effects of mild concussion after his try-saving tackle against Northampton and will follow a strict five day protocol to return to action this week.

    Racing Metro will begin their campaign without Sebastien Chabal after the charismatic back-row picked up a knee injury on domestic duty last weekend. Chabal will miss both of their opening games and former All Black fly-half Andrew Mehrtens is also a doubt for the trip to Wasps with a sternum injury.

  • Munster prop John Hayes has been given a show of support by coach Tony McGahan as he prepares to face a disciplinary panel.

    Hayes was sent off for a stamp on Leinster's Cian Healy during the Magners League showdown at the RDS last weekend but McGahan believes there was no malicious intent from the Irish stalwart.

    "We feel that he was just trying to find the ground with his foot," McGahan said. "We certainly feel confident that John will be held in high regard as he is and his record will speak for itself."

  • Blues Bulls No.8 Pierre Spies will miss their final Currie Cup round robin fixture against the Leopards with a torn finger ligament.

    The Springbok is joined on the sidelines by wing Bryan Habana, who has been rested despite having recovered from an injury worry to his hamstring. Lock Bakkies Botha returns to Currie Cup action for the first time this season after joining up with the squad this week.

  • Former England scrum-half Johnny Williams has died at the age of 77. Williams won nine caps and died after a long battle with Alzheimer's at Harts Leap Hospital in Sandhurst.

    Williams also toured with the British & Irish Lions to South Africa in 1954-1955, playing eight games on tour.


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