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Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Leigh Halfpenny injury rules him out against England

2011 Six Nations Championship - Wales v England
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Friday, 4 February Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One from 1930 (BBC Wales and Red Button from 1900); listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Wales; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny's absence would be a huge blow for Wales

Wales wing Leigh Halfpenny will miss Friday's Six Nations opener against England after suffering an ankle injury in training.

The 22-year-old is believed to have been taken off on a stretcher from the training session on Monday.

Halfpenny missed Wales' autumn campaign with an ankle injury and the Blues star went for a scan on Monday night to determine the severity of the injury.

But the Wales physio said on Tuesday the injury was not as bad as feared.

"Leigh has an acute sprain to his ankle, but the scan has revealed no further disruption to the ligaments, which is much more positive news than was first feared," said Wales team physiotherapist Mark Davies.

"He will wear a boot and stay off his feet for the next few days, but will remain in camp where we will monitor his rehab.

"The injury rules him out of the England game and should mean he misses the visit to Scotland."

At one stage the team management were on the verge of calling up Osprey Tom Prydie as cover, although Prydie is due to have a shoulder operation in March. But this became unnecessary when it looked as thought Halfpenny could return within two weeks.

Wales could turn to Scarlets' Morgan Stoddart in the meantime.

Wales are already without Scarlets wing George North, as well as Lions props Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins, centres Tom Shanklin and Andrew Bishop and suspended scrum-half Richie Rees.

Gatland is scheduled to confirm his starting line-up on Wednesday.

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