Rhys Thomas injury blow for Dragons
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons hooker Rhys Thomas is set to be out of action until 2014 because of the ankle injury he suffered against the Scarlets.
The 30-year-old was forced from the field in the opening exchanges of the 23-16 RaboDirect Pro12 win at Rodney Parade after getting his leg trapped in a ruck and falling awkwardly.
The former Wales front row forward, a summer signing from London Wasps, does not need an operation but is set to be sidelined for three months.
It is a blow to lose Thomas, who started all three Pro12 games and captained the region against Edinburgh in the absence of Andrew Coombs.
“It’s a shame because Rhys was playing well and he was enjoying his rugby here,” said Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones.
“He is one of those experienced characters that adds a lot on the pitch and on the training field as well.
“It is a blow but it’s not the end of the world and he’ll be surprised by how quickly the three months goes.”
Hugh Gustafson is poised to start against Munster on Saturday with Sam Parry, who was called up to the Wales training squad last summer, on the bench.
Bright prospect Elliot Dee, who starred for Wales Under-20s in the Junior World Championship, will be their back-up.
Dragons squad for Munster: D Evans, M Pewtner, W Harries, R Wardle, T Prydie, H Amos, A Hughes, A Smith, J Dixon, K Burton, J Tovey, L Robling, J Evans, R Rees, W Evans, O Evans, P Price, A Coundley, N Williams, H Gustafson, S Parry, D Way, N Buck, F Chaparro, M Screech, A Jones, R Sidoli, A Coombs, J Groves, N Talei, L Evans, N Cudd, T Faletau, I Jones.
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