MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 02:27:06

Surgery rules Faletau out of Wales comeback

Surgery rules Faletau out of Wales comeback
© Reuters
Leigh Halfpenny, however, poised to return after being sidelined for three months recovering from concussion.

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau has undergone surgery to his broken right arm that rules him out of the remainder of the Guinness Six Nations.

It had been hoped Faletau would return for the final two rounds against Scotland and Ireland but Warren Gatland must complete the tournament without the powerful Bath star.

The fracture to his arm was incurred against Wasps in January when he was making his comeback from a similar injury to his forearm sustained in October.

"We're gutted for Taulupe but this is the best course of action for him moving forwards as a player," Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder said.

"We will know more in terms of time frames following the surgery but we're looking forward to welcoming him back into the squad."

Offsetting Faletau's absence is the news that Leigh Halfpenny is available to line-up against England after being given the all-clear from concussion.

Halfpenny took a blow to the head against Australia on November 10 and has not played since but he could return for the Scarlets this weekend in time to prove he is ready for the title collision in Cardiff.

"To do full contact he has got to be symptom free and Leigh has been symptom free," Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac said.

"He trained with us last Thursday and Friday, and yesterday (Monday) he did everything – full contact and full tackling.

Leigh Halfpenny has not played for Wales since an Autumn International clash against Australia in November
Leigh Halfpenny has not played for Wales since an Autumn International clash against Australia in November. (Simon Galloway/PA)

"We had a mini-game scenario, what we call level three, which is a game scenario so there is no hiding places.

"He was taking high balls, getting clattered. He did everything he needed to do.

"He goes back to Wales available, we feed back information, medical team to medical team, and I have passed a little note on to Warren. Warren will make a call on what he does from there."

British and Irish Lions wing Shane Williams, who played alongside Halfpenny during an 87-cap Wales career that ended in 2011, believes he would be an ideal selection at full-back against England.

Halfpenny is outstanding at patrolling the backfield, while also operating as a pinpoint goalkicker, traits that could counteract the laser-guided kicking game Eddie Jones' men have used to dominate Ireland and France in their opening two wins so far.

"When it comes to positioning and not letting the ball hit the pitch, Leigh is probably the best in the world," said Williams, who is taking part in the Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge on behalf of Wooden Spoon.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all if he slots straight back in at 15 because he's a good enough player to do that.

"If Leigh is involved, England are going to know that he is one of these guys that reads the game very well.

"And we also need those three points when they are on offer. England have been one of the best disciplined teams in the tournament so those three points are not going to come easy."


Click here for more stories about Taulupe Faletau

Click here for more stories about Wales

Share this article now:
England head coach Eddie Jones pictured at the Six Nations squad announcement in January 2019
Read Next:
Rampant England scaling new heights under Jones, says Youngs
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account