Powell tour hopes dashed by injury
June 3, 2010
Andy Powell has been forced out of the Wales squad by injury © PA Photos
Andy Powell has been ruled out of Wales' summer Tests after picking up a thigh injury in training.
The Cardiff Blues back-row will miss Saturday's meeting with the Springboks at the Millennium Stadium as well as the tour of New Zealand, which begins with a Test against the All Blacks in Dunedin on June 19, with a a tear to his left thigh muscle.
Powell was set to make his international return against South Africa following expulsion from the Wales camp during the Six Nations due to his golf buggy indiscretion, but the door has now opened for Scarlets youngster Rob McCusker to make his Test bow from the bench.
Dragons flanker Gavin Thomas, who last played for Wales in 2007, has also been added to the tour squad as extra back-row cover. Skipper Ryan Jones, Ospreys flanker Jonathan Thomas and the Blues' Sam Warburton form the loose trio this weekend.
"Rob has been around the squad for some time and was unlucky to miss out on the tour to America and Canada with us last summer after being named in the larger initial squad," Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said. "He is a tough young prospect and it is only a matter of time before he gets his chance and wins that first cap and if we need him on Saturday he won't let us down.
"Gavin is an experienced player with over 20 caps who has had some injury problems over the last few years, but he is fighting fit now and has impressed everyone in training. It's obviously disappointing to lose someone of Andy Powell's quality, but Gavin now has a chance to make an impact and he, like Rob, won't be taking that chance lightly."