AWJ hands Wales a boost

Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones has handed Wales a major boost by declaring himself fit to return to domestic action this Friday. [more]

AWJ hands Wales a boost

Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones has handed Wales a major boost by declaring himself fit to return to domestic action this Friday.

Jones won’t be involved in his country’s 6 Nations clash with Scotland in Cardiff but he is on the bench for the Ospreys’ RaboDirect PRO12 trip to Edinburgh.

The 26-year-old hasn’t played since injuring his toe in mid-November and had at one stage been a doubt for the entire 6 Nations.

“It’s been three months, a long time, and I’m champing at the bit to be honest,” said Jones.

“I’ve done all the rehab work with the medical and conditioning teams, they’ve given me the all clear and I need to play now to see if I’m fully fit as it were.

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“I appreciate with longer term injuries you aren’t completely out of the woods until a month down the line with minutes under your belt but I need to play now to see where I am.

“Physically it’s been good to catch up on a bit of time off that I probably haven’t had over the last couple of years, that’s helped, and then there’s been the extra conditioning work to sort me out. Now it’s just time to find out how the lungs are. I’ve done all the work, now there’s only one way to test them out.

“I’m sure I’ll make a few mistakes when I come on as I’m a bit rusty but I’m not fearing those, I just want to get back on the park and play.”

Jones’ return is a timely fillip for Wales after Bradley Davies was banned for seven weeks following his off-the-ball tip tackle on Donnacha Ryan in Sunday’s win over Ireland.

First-choice Luke Charteris is already out for the season, meaning Wales are short of options in the second row.

Jones’ Ospreys namesake Ryan has been moved from back row to second row for the clash with Scotland, while uncapped Scarlet Lou Reed comes on to the bench.

But having Alun Wyn back on the field prior to the Round 3 fixture with England at Twickenham on February 25 is clearly good news for Warren Gatland as well as the Ospreys.

“He's massively important to us and he's massively important to Wales,” said Ospreys coach Jonathan Humphreys.

"We're looking forward to having him back with us. He's a huge part of us. He's such a bubbly character – you see him running around here like a two-year-old.

"He could well be involved against England. We'll have to see how he goes. It's a tough injury in that he hasn't been able to do a lot of conditioning but he's such a diligent professional. He's worked extremely hard so hopefully he'll be there or thereabouts.

"He's been out for 12 or 14 weeks by now. For long periods of that he hasn't been able to run, so let's get him back playing and back playing well. Then it's up to Wales to make that decision."

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