2:12pm Tuesday 15th October 2013
By Chris Kirwan
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have suffered an injury hammer blow with influential teenage centre Jack Dixon sidelined for at least four months.
The 18-year-old from Newbridge will have an operation tomorrow after tearing ligaments in his right foot in the 30-7 win against Zebre at the start of the month.
“Jack faces four to six months off the field,” said Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones. “The toughest part of the job is dealing with long-term injuries, especially when you are young.
“He has done so well in our start of the season and has to deal with it, which won’t be easy. Jack is going under the knife and has a long winter ahead of him.”
Dixon has become an increasingly important member of the Dragons squad with his power in attack and excellent defence.
He played 18 games last season and had not missed a minute of the current campaign until suffering the injury against Zebre at Rodney Parade.
Dixon, who has played in two Junior World Championships, was being touted as a potential member of Warren Gatland’s Wales squad for the autumn internationals.
He did those chances no harm with a strong showing against the Scarlets’ international midfield of Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies last month but his chances of winning a cap will have to wait until at least the summer.
“Jack will be a Welsh international within the next 18 months without a shadow of a doubt,” said scrum-half Richie Rees.
“He has been fantastic for us so far this season, he is a big guy and has got it all, the handling ability and the brains.
“It’s a big blow for Jack and a massive loss for us but we have got some strength in the centres.”
Ross Wardle and Adam Hughes are likely to continue their midfield partnership against Bath while Pat Leach and Ashley Smith are nearing returns from elbow and hamstring injuries respectively.
Lewis Robling came off the bench against Mogliano last Friday while another option could be Tyler Morgan, another teenage centre who has been catching the eye with Newport in the Premiership.
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