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Mitchell sidelined after surgery

Wales prop Craig Mitchell is set to miss the rest of this season after dislocating his shoulder during the RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland on Saturday.

Mitchell has undergone surgery and is expected to be sidelined for 12 to 16 weeks, according to Prav Mathema, the Welsh Rugby Union national performance medical manager.

Mitchell's Ospreys colleague Adam Jones, who has played just 20 minutes' rugby since suffering an elbow injury in January, has been called into the Wales squad as his replacement ahead of next Saturday's Six Nations appointment with France in Paris.

Mitchell, 24, made an impressive contribution to Wales' Six Nations campaign in the four games he started after filling the void left by 68 times-capped British and Irish Lions Test tighthead Jones.

Mathema said: "Craig has now had corrective surgery after dislocating his right shoulder. The operation went very well, and we would now expect him to be back playing within a 12 - 16 week period."

Jones, meanwhile, returned to action for the Ospreys as a substitute in their Magners League victory over Glasgow eight days ago.

The 30-year-old had been sidelined since injuring his elbow during Ospreys' Heineken Cup loss to London Irish seven weeks earlier.

And Wales coach Warren Gatland must now decide whether to pitch Jones straight into action at Stade de France, or switch Paul James from loosehead and start with Cardiff Blues' John Yapp.

Gatland is due to announce his team on Wednesday, with Wales still holding a slim title chance, but they need to beat France by an emphatic margin and hope that England suffer a heavy defeat against Ireland in Dublin.

Gatland has also added teenage Scarlets wing George North to the squad for Wales' Six Nations finale. North, scorer of two tries on his Test debut against world champions South Africa in November, has now recovered from a shoulder injury that kept him out for three months.


From Belfast Telegraph