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Versatile Liam Williams' recovery offers Wales boss Gatland options

By Andrew Baldock

Published 03/02/2016

In the frame: Liam Williams is likely to feature against Irish
In the frame: Liam Williams is likely to feature against Irish

Liam Williams looks on course to be involved in Wales' RBS Six Nations opener against Ireland on Sunday - despite playing barely an hour of rugby since the World Cup.

Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said that "everything is good" with Williams following his return from injury for Scarlets in last Saturday's Guinness PRO12 clash against Connacht.

Williams limped out of the World Cup during the pool stage loss to Australia at Twickenham in October, having suffered a foot injury.

And his return to action ahead of the Six Nations is a timely one, given that he offers Wales boss Warren Gatland full-back and wing options, with regular No.15 Leigh Halfpenny sidelined while he continues his recovery from a pre-World Cup injury.

Gatland is due to name his team for the Aviva Stadium clash today, with Williams and flanker Dan Lydiate currently commanding most attention.

Ospreys flanker Lydiate has been sidelined since New Year's Day due to a shoulder/neck problem, although he has trained with Wales during the past week or so.

McBryde said: "Liam had 60 minutes under his belt and everything is good with him. And Dan Lydiate has joined back in full training.

"Things went as well as they could for Liam. He won one of the collisions he was involved in (against Connacht) and was pretty secure under the high ball.

"They were difficult circumstances for him, but he has come through unscathed.

"Whether he is fit enough to start an 80 minutes we will wait and see, but he is certainly fit enough to play some part."

On Lydiate, McBryde added: "We have to look at each individual and how much game-time they need before they get back up to full fitness.

"There is a discussion to be had with Dan. One thing we have seen in a positive light is that he has taken part in our training sessions, which are quite intense.

"He has come through those scenarios. They (training sessions) are not a game, but we have tested each other out, and on the back of that he has come through.

"That will be in the mix when we discuss selection."

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