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Owens set for neck surgery

Wales hooker Ken Owens is set to miss the autumn Tests because of a neck injury.

The Scarlets have announced that Owens, who has won 26 caps, will undergo surgery early next week and be sidelined for up to 12 weeks. He was hurt during a Scarlets training session.

The 27-year-old has been an important part of Wales coach Warren Gatland's plans since he made his debut during the 2011 World Cup.

He started both of Wales' summer Tests against South Africa and was expected to battle for the number two shirt with Richard Hibbard in November, when Gatland's men face Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa.

" Unfortunately, Ken injured his neck in a training session a week last Tuesday," Scarlets head of performance Andrew Walker said.

"Following thorough investigations, the scans have confirmed the he's injured a disc in his neck.

"After a thorough process, involving consultations with three neck specialists, we have decided that surgery is the best course of action."

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac added: " It's a shame for both Ken on a personal level and the team as a whole that he will require surgery on the injury he received earlier last week to his neck.

"Ken had been playing well, but the focus now is to see him through the surgery and get him back here with us for rehabilitation."

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