Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Stoddart retains starting chance

Morgan Stoddart
Morgan Stoddart

Morgan Stoddart looks set to be named in the Wales team for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Scotland - despite breaking his hand just four days ago.

Wales coach Warren Gatland must make at least one change from the side beaten by England after number eight Andy Powell suffered a shoulder injury. Former Wales captain Ryan Jones is favourite to wear the number eight shirt at Murrayfield, while Stoddart still retains a chance of starting.

"Morgan has been given a window of opportunity," said Wales physiotherapist Mark Davies. "If his symptoms settle down, we will clear him to play subject to a fitness review later in the week."

Gatland is due to announce his starting XV on Tuesday for a fixture that has produced only three Wales victories in the last 20 years at Murrayfield.

And Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins accepts there can be no hiding place after a demoralising run of Test match defeats that stretch back to last summer.

Wales are desperate to find a way of kicking the losing habit, having suffered seven losses and scraped an autumn draw against Fiji in their last eight Tests.

Jenkins said: "You can't hide from the fact we have lost an awful lot of games - and we are not hiding from that. A lot of the games we have lost we've been very close. We've been out in front, either been pegged back or come up short towards the end.

"Some of these (Wales) players are world-class players, fantastic players, and when they have ball in hand they are pretty deadly. We know we can do it - it's just making the right decisions at the right time.

"The reality is it's all about winning, and we need to get across that winning line. When we do that, I think we will turn the corner.

"We all get the criticism, and if we haven't won we deserve it. We've got to take it on the chin and work our socks off to get it right, get ourselves back on track and get a win under our belt."

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