Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Patchell hoping to be fit for Wales’ World Cup opener

The fly-half recently suffered his third concussion in the space of a year.

Rhys Patchell hopes to play against Georgia (Adam Davy/PA)
Rhys Patchell hopes to play against Georgia (Adam Davy/PA)

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent, Nagoya

Rhys Patchell could feature in Wales’ selection mix for their World Cup opener against Georgia.

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

The Scarlets fly-half went off after suffering concussion during Wales’ 19-10 loss to Ireland earlier this month.

He was hurt following an attempted tackle on Ireland back-row forward CJ Stander.

Rhys Patchell suffered concussion in the 19-10 defeat to Ireland (Adam Davy/PA)

It was the third time in the past 12 months he had suffered such an injury and it came less than a week after Wales head coach Warren Gatland had named his 31-man squad for Japan.

“These things take the time they take,” Patchell said. “I’ve learnt that over the years.

“There is no point worrying about it. You’ve got to be philosophical about these things and be quite relaxed.

“The more worked up you get, the chances are the more your symptoms will persist.”

Rhys Patchell hopes to be fit to face Georgia (Mike Egerton/PA)

Patchell has gone though the required return-to-play concussion protocols, working closely with Wales’ medical team.

“There are a lot of tests,” he added.

“You have to remember words and be able to do a series of balance and cognitive tests and they will ask you what the 10 words were at the end of the test.

“Right from the start you have to try and remember what they are. There is a cognitive sports test.

I am looking forward to being fit for selection for Georgia Rhys Patchell

“There are also the symptoms. You can’t return to do much until you are symptom-free.

“The medics ask how you are feeling and there is a gradual return to play in terms of the amount you can do in training. It is a thorough process.

“I am looking forward to being fit for selection for Georgia.”

Wales head coach Warren Gatland does not name his team for Monday’s game in Toyota until the weekend, with Patchell potentially poised for a bench role and Dan Biggar starting at number 10.

Dan Biggar is likely to start for Wales (Mike Egerton/PA)

And the squad are preparing for a first training session involving attack coach Stephen Jones, who was set to link up with Gatland and company in Toyota.

Jones headed to Japan after Wales assistant coach Rob Howley was sent home from the World Cup earlier this week for an alleged breach of betting regulations.

Howley, 48, has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation in relation to a potential breach of World Rugby regulation six, specifically betting on rugby union.

“The situation is not ideal, but he (Howley) put some excellent building blocks in place, and the real big parts of the game this weekend were put in place early doors,” Patchell said.

Rob Howley has returned to Wales following an alleged breach of betting rules (Paul Harding/PA)

“Whatever has happened has happened and everything is looking forward. There is no use looking back. Unfortunately, that has happened, and let’s crack on with the rugby.

“Steve is an awesome coach and has a lot of enthusiasm for the game and has a real deep understanding of the game.

“I think the boys will enjoy what he has to bring. I am sure you will see a bit of Stephen’s influence in terms of the odd thing for the Georgia game, possibly.”



From Belfast Telegraph