Powell to miss Scotland clash


CARDIFF, February 8- Andy Powell joined Wales's already extensive injury list when he was ruled out of the Six Nations match away to Scotland at Murrayfield next Saturday.

The Wasps star suffered a shoulder injury during the 26-19 loss to England in Cardiff last Friday but Wales hope Powell will be available to face Italy later this month.

He joined the likes of Adam Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Tom Shanklin on the sidelines.

"Andy needs a period of rest now," said Wales physiotherapist Mark Davies.

"But if all goes well he should be back in contention for the Italy game at the end of the month."

Meanwhile wing Morgan Stoddart has been given additional time to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to Edinburgh after breaking a bone in his hand against England.

Stoddart, Wales’s try-scorer at the Millennium Stadium, will be monitored daily to assess his progress. Cardiff wing Chris Czekaj has been called into the squad as cover.

"Morgan has been given a window of opportunity," said Davies.

"If his symptoms settle down, we will clear him to play subject to a fitness review later in the week."

Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to name his team to face Scotland on Tuesday with Ryan Jones in line to replace Powell.

Defeat by England left Wales with a dispiriting record of seven losses and a draw against Fiji from their last eight Tests.

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins said: "You can’t hide from the fact we have lost an awful lot of games – and we are not hiding from that.

"A lot of the games we have lost we’ve been very close. We’ve been out in front, either been pegged back or come up short towards the end.

"Some of these (Wales) players are world-class players, fantastic players, and when they have ball in hand they are pretty deadly. We know we can do it – it’s just making the right decisions at the right time."

Scotland won plaudits for their performance on the opening weekend after scoring three tries albeit in a losing cause after France ran in four diuring a 34-21 victory in Paris.

"I thought Scotland were pretty good on the weekend," said former Wales goalkicking ace Jenkins.

"They never gave in, they kept playing and scored some very good tries.

"We just don’t seem to be scoring. They took their opportunities, and we’ve just got to be better at making the right decisions at certain times."

Jenkins though defended outside-half Stephen Jones, amidst calls for the more creative James Hook to start at No 10.

"I think Stephen is a fantastic player," said former Wales fly-half Jenkins. "I am a big fan of Steve’s, but everyone seems to blame the half-backs when things don’t go to plan.

"I certainly had the brunt of that in my time when I played, even if it was because the scrum or lineout didn’t work very well! That’s the way it is."