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Waiting game for Wales

Wales are optimistic their bid for Triple Crown glory at Twickenham next week will not be hampered by injuries to key players.

Coach Warren Gatland's entire RBS 6 Nations squad will reconvene at their training base on Monday after more than a dozen players were released for club duties this weekend.

That list includes France-based trio Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne, Aviva Premiership contingent Rhys Gill, Andy Powell and Craig Mitchell, plus a number who will be involved in RaboDirect PRO12 action.

So while Gatland must hope that sizeable group all emerge unscathed, he will also keep a close eye on the likes of George North (ankle), Huw Bennett (calf), Ryan Jones (dead leg) and skipper Sam Warburton (thigh).

That quartet remained among a 20-plus party working with Gatland and his coaching assistants, in addition to hooker Matthew Rees (calf strain) and flanker Justin Tipuric (ankle).

Victory for Wales over England on Saturday week - only their second at Twickenham since 1988 - would not only secure a 20th championship Triple Crown, but also leave them two more wins away from landing a second Six Nations title and Grand Slam of Gatland's four-year reign.

"There are a few battered and bruised bodies, still, but we are hoping everyone is going to be up and running by next week," Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins said.

"They've got the weekend off after a bit more rehab today, and we will see where we are on Monday and Tuesday."


From Belfast Telegraph