Gatland sweating on Lions trio

Wales are sweating on the fitness of three British & Irish Lions as they prepare for their Rugby World Cup opener against reigning champions South Africa on Sunday. [more]

Gatland sweating on Lions trio

Wales are sweating on the fitness of three British & Irish Lions as they prepare for their Rugby World Cup opener against reigning champions South Africa on Sunday.

While head coach Warren Gatland was resigned to being without top prop Gethin Jenkins for the first of his four Pool D fixtures he is now waiting to see how 100 cap outside half Stephen Jones and former Grand Slam skipper Ryan Jones react when they resume training this week.

"Ryan's in the best state of them all, then Stephen and then Gethin. They're all progressing well and, hopefully, they're going to be fit for selection, if not for this game then definitely for the second game," said Gatland.

All three are suffering from calf muscle problems and the target for everyone is to be available for the game against Samoa on 18 September. Jenkins hasn’t played since January after having an operation on his toe and then picking up a calf strain.

Stephen Jones won his 100th cap against the Barbarians in June, but then sat out the three warm-up matches against England (2) and Argentina. Ryan Jones played against England, but missed the game against the Pumas as a precaution.

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"Ryan's confident that he can take a full part in training. Stephen might be one or two days, but we're taking Gethin a little bit slower," added Gatland.
 

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