Wales have received a triple boost ahead of Friday’s Guinness Six Nations opener against France in Paris.
The Dragons visit the Stade de France and are 10/11 with GIVEMEBET to leave victorious as wing Liam Williams, scrum-half Gareth Davies and number eight Ross Moriarty are all set to be in the selection mix, increasing head coach Warren Gatland’s resources.
Williams has been recovering from a finger injury, while Davies had a thigh strain and Moriarty last played on December 15, with concussion subsequently sidelining him.
Dragons forward Moriarty trained with the squad on Monday, though, and Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said that Williams and Davies are also available.
The only confirmed absentees ahead of the Stade de France encounter are full-back Leigh Halfpenny, centre Scott Williams and fly-half Rhys Patchell.
But with fly-half Dan Biggar and lock Adam Beard also fully fit, Gatland’s selection options are enhanced prior to launching his final Six Nations campaign at the helm.
The New Zealander’s 12-year reign as Wales boss will end when he departs after the World Cup in Japan later this year.
“It is not as lengthy (a list of absentees) as last week,” Wales forwards specialist McBryde said.
“When we selected a larger than normal squad (39 players) it was to cover.
“It has been good to welcome quite a few faces back today.”
Moriarty’s availability is a particular plus point, especially as Wales were denied the services of Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau due to a broken arm suffered on club duty two weeks ago.
“We have taken a few knocks in the back-row, but to have someone of Ross’ standing is great,” McBryde added.
“He is good to have. He never takes a step back, so to have someone of Ross’ ability, of course, is massive.
“Ross doesn’t need a lot of game-time to get himself going – he always keeps himself in great shape.
“With the protocol after a head injury, it’s a steady, gradual thing, and once you’ve been passed fit, you can crank things up.
“It was the same with Adam Beard. They’ve both come through, so it’s healthy to see them back.”
Wales have won six of their last seven games against France, but they lost in contentious fashion the last time they visited Paris two years ago.
France scored a winning try during 20 minutes of added time dominated by a succession of scrums near Wales’ line.
“We know it is a big ask first up. France away. They are a big physical pack,” McBryde said.
“The focus is on making sure we start with a big performance against France.
“They are big, physical men, they are going to be hugely passionate, they are playing their first game at home.
“We’ve got to be ready for that, and we are doing as much as we can on the training field.”News Now - Sport News