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Roberts doubtful for Italy clash

Wales centre Jamie Roberts is "touch and go" to be ready for the RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy a week on Saturday, according to skills coach Neil Jenkins.

Cardiff Blues centre Roberts was forced off at half-time of last weekend's dramatic 19-12 victory over England at Twickenham with a medial ligament injury; his replacement Scott Williams went on to score the clinching try and seal a Triple Crown success.

Jenkins said: "With Jamie, we are waiting to find out. He is probably going to be touch and go for the next couple of weeks before the Italy game, but he he is progressing well, his rehab is going well so fingers crossed he could well make that game."

Roberts, 25, returned from a six-week lay-off after an injury to the same knee just in time for the start of Wales' Six Nations campaign, and there are fears that he may not only miss the Italy game, but the potential Grand Slam decider with France a week later.

Jenkins says the three-quarter in progressing well, and that Matthew Rees is back in training while fellow hooker and calf injury victim Huw Bennett is doubtful to face the Azzurri.

He added: "Matthew is back with us training so that is good news and hopefully he will be back and available for selection so there is good news on that front.

"Huw Bennett is progressing, it might be a bit soon for the Italy game and hopefully he could be involved for the France game."

Wales also expect James Hook to be ready to face Italy after he was withdrawn from the matchday 22 to face England due to chicken pox, while lock Luke Charteris could yet come into contention to face France as he returns to the Newport Gwent Dragons squad this weekend from a long-term wrist injury.

Victory at Twickenham has set Wales on course for a third Grand Slam in seven years, with the final fixture against the also currently-unbeaten French being a possible winner-takes-all encounter.


From Belfast Telegraph