News in Brief
Williams set for shock return
October 21, 2009
Martyn Williams could make his comeback from injury this weekend
© Getty Images
- Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has hinted that British & Irish Lions flanker Martyn Williams could make a surprise return from a shoulder injury in their Magners League derby against the Ospreys this weekend.
In what would be a major boost for Wales coach Warren Gatland following a spate of injuries, Williams has returned to full training after undergoing surgery on the injury following the Lions tour.
Gatland lost Mike Phillips to an ankle injury on Tuesday, the scrum-half joining fullback Lee
Byrne, lock Ian Evans and props Rhys Thomas and John Yapp on the injured list. Prop Gethin Jenkins returned in the Blues' Heineken Cup loss to Sale last Friday. Gatland announces his squad for their November Tests against New Zealand, Samoa, Argentina and Australia on Sunday.
"Martyn is in full training and he won't be far off selection this week," Young told The Western Mail. "If he isn't ready this week, he will be certainly ready for next week. But Martyn is pushing for this week, he has upped his intensity in training and has done some contact work. He could be in a position where he won't be far off for this week's game. If he is fit we will look at him, but he has two or three sessions to come through this week."
- Ulster skipper Paddy Wallace has been rested for his side's Magners League derby against Leinster this weekend. The Irish international was omitted from the 25-man-squad for the game by coach Brian McLaughlin, with Jonny Shiels stepping in.
- Free State Cheetahs lock David de Villiers is free to play against the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup final on October 31 after a citing for allegedly elbowing Sharks' forward Keegan Daniel was dismissed by a disciplinary panel.
- Leeds Carnegie have been dealt a blow with the news that Samoan international Fosi Pala'amo has had his visa application rejected. The prop is not permitted to re-apply for 12 months, dashing any hopes Leeds had of him adding to his 33 appearances. The club are hoping for more positive news in the case of USA international prop Mike MacDonald, who is also awaiting a verdict.
- Worcester have been boosted with the news that England Saxons prop Matt Mullan does not require surgery on a hamstring injury. Mullan was injured in the Warriors' European Challenge Cup loss to Montpellier two weeks ago and was originally slated to miss four months of action. Now a more optimistic verdict has been delivered, with a prognosis of a 10-12 week layoff.
"The fact that he doesn't require surgery is a major one and a very positive prognosis," said Worcester boss Mike Ruddock. "With Matt's professionalism, dedication and desire, I know he will push every boundary to get back into action before the 10-12 week deadline."
- Wellington will have Conrad Smith available for their final Air New Zealand Cup match against Tasman on Friday after he was released from All Blacks training to get some extra game-time. Smith is currently with the All Blacks preparing in Auckland for next month's tour to Japan and Europe. The centre returned to action two weeks ago, starring in Wellington's win over Northland but did not play the next match against North Harbour.
- Tasman lock Joe Wheeler was found of stamping on an opponent by a New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) judicial hearing. Although NZRU judicial officer Peter Hobbs found Wheeler guilty, no period of suspension was imposed.