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Baldwin added to Wales' list of absentees


By Andrew Baldock

Wales have suffered another injury blow with squad hooker Scott Baldwin being ruled out for the rest of this season.

The Ospreys forward was among three hookers in Wales' Six Nations squad, with Ken Owens starting tomorrow's Championship opener against Scotland and Elliot Dee on the bench.

In a statement, the Welsh Rugby Union said: "Scott Baldwin has been released due to a foot injury sustained in training.

"The injury will require surgery with a recovery time frame of at least five months.

"Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias, who made his international debut last summer, has been called into the squad."

Wales are without several senior internationals for the Scotland clash, with players like Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb among those sidelined.

Meanwhile, the Principality Stadium roof will be closed - following earlier uncertainty.

Under Six Nations rules, both countries have to agree for the roof to be closed.

Wales' stance is always for the roof to be shut, but if opposition disagree, then it stays open.

It is understood that Scotland expressed a preference to the Welsh Rugby Union on Tuesday for an open roof, but they also wanted an option of being able to reconsider their stance.

Wales, though, were left frustrated by the lack of a clear decision. It was set to stay open, but Scotland have now agreed to Wales' request for a closed roof.

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