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Hansen seeks positive news
16 March 2003 20:00pm
Wales coach Steve Hansen will prepare his squad for the daunting challenge of RBS 6 Nations Championship title-chasing Ireland hoping for positive injury news.
Wales have yet to break their points duck following successive defeats against Italy, England and Scotland.
Hansen still has a formidable injury list, including hooker Robin McBryde, centre Sonny Parker and full-back Kevin Morgan, but does have hooker Jonathan Humphreys eager to make a return.
The veteran, who was recalled as captain against England but suffered a shoulder injury and missed the Scotland game, did not play in his club Bath's Zurich Premiership fixture against Northampton.
However, Humphreys said he was "100% confident" of recovering in time and Hansen added: "Jonathan is making good progress, and we will know by Wednesday whether he is available or not."
If Humphreys does not make it then Hansen is ready to spring a major surprise among his replacements with Swansea teenager Huw Bennett set to provide cover for Pontypridd's experienced Mefin Davies.
Although Bennett is a total novice in international rugby terms, Hansen has no doubt about the youngster's ability.
"He has got a bit of the x-factor about him," Hansen said.
"He is going to be a very good player in the future - and he has been working with us now for most of the time over the last 12 months."
Hansen is set to announce his team on Wednesday - with Rhys Williams likely to move from wing to full-back as replacement for Morgan.
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