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Wales boss Gatland eyes stand-ins for Adam Jones

Adam Jones
Jones will miss most, if not all, of the Six Nations with an elbow injury

Wales boss Warren Gatland has highlighted four potential stand-ins for injured tight-head Adam Jones ahead of the Six Nations.

Jones is out for between six and eight weeks with an elbow injury.

Gatland says Jones' fellow Ospreys Paul James and Craig Mitchell are candidates for the number three jersey.

But in a Scrum V Radio interview, the Wales coach also named twice-capped Wasp Ben Broster and Cardiff Blues' uncapped Scott Andrews.

James and Mitchell have already experienced Test rugby at tight-head as replacements for British and Irish Lion Jones.

London-born Broster, 28, was capped twice on Wales' June 2005 tour to north America, as a replacement against Canada before starting against the United States.

There are probably a couple of [Welsh] props out there who are licking their lips and rubbing their hands together

Wales boss Warren Gatland

His club career has included stints at Saracens and the Scarlets and he joined Wasps after trialling with them in the summer of 2010.

Andrews, 21 was called into Wales' autumn 2010 squad, but remains uncapped and is not a regular starter for his region, having made 13 appearances since making his debut in 2009.

Gatland said Blues coach Dai Young has assured him Andrews will play a significant part at Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

The Wales coach also expects Mitchell to start for the Ospreys against Toulon on Saturday and has spoken to ex-Wasps and England prop Phil Vickery about Broster, who is on the bench for Wasps' final pool match against Toulouse on Sunday.

Jones, 31, damaged an elbow in the Ospreys' 24-12 Heineken Cup defeat by London Irish on Sunday.

Gatland said: "He's [Jones] had a scan and it means that he won't need an operation, which is a bonus, but we understand it's a hyper-extension of the elbow and it's probably six-to-eight weeks.

"It's a big blow. Again he's the kind of player that's pretty crucial and pretty vital to us and it's important that we look at alternatives and players coming through.

"We tried Paul James there in 2009 and he did a pretty good job at tight-head for someone who hadn't really experienced too much there. That's an option for us.

"We've [also] got Scott Andrews at the Blues - he hasn't been starting a lot of games.

"But I've rung Dai Young about playing him this week and he's going to give him good time-out this weekend, so we really appreciated that support from Dai.

"And Craig Mitchell gets an opportunity this week [for the Ospreys].

"So we've got one or two players to consider and there are probably a couple of props out there who are licking their lips and rubbing their hands together and saying well maybe there's an opportunity.

"I've spoken to Ben [Broster] and I've been talking to Phil Vickery as well and he's said he's worked really hard in the off-season and so yes, we've kept an eye on him."

Gatland is also monitoring Saracens loose-head prop Rhys Gill as he assesses options to play in the number one jersey vacated by Gethin Jenkins, who is out of the Six Nations after under-going toe surgery.

606: DEBATE
James

Gill joins Ospreys duo James and Duncan Jones, the Scarlets' Iestyn Thomas and Blues' John Yapp as a loose-head contender.

Gatland is due to name a 27 or 28-man squad on Sunday, 23 January.

As well as props Jones and Jenkins, he is also without injured centre Tom Shanklin and suspended scrum-half Richie Rees for the entire tournament.

Centre Andrew Bishop (ankle ligaments) will miss the opening three games, Gavin Henson (calf) the first two, while teenage Scarlets wing George North will also miss the start of the Championship with a shoulder injury.

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see also
Gatland sees Euro flop benefits
20 Jan 11 |  Welsh
England suffer Moody injury blow
18 Jan 11 |  English
Wales suffer Shanklin injury blow
18 Jan 11 |  Cardiff Blues
Henson suffers Six Nations blow
17 Jan 11 |  Welsh
London Irish 24-12 Ospreys
16 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Bishop blow for Ospreys & Wales
14 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Wales suffer Jenkins injury blow
10 Jan 11 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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