Leigh Halfpenny out for season
WALES head coach Warren Gatland has hinted he might make changes as his side look to end their Six Nations campaign on a high against Scotland.
One player who will not feature at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday is Leigh Halfpenny who dislocated his shoulder as Wales’ dreams of winning three successive Six Nations titles went up in smoke.
The full-back dislocated his shoulder in yesterday’s disappointing 29-18 defeat to England at Twickenham which saw the hosts claim the Triple Crown and keep their tournament hopes very much alive.
Halfpenny was Wales’ best player, kicking all their points from six penalties, and hurt himself with a try-saving tackle which prevented centre Luther Burrell crossing for what would have been his second try of a match dominated by the hosts.
He might not play for the Cardiff Blues again, Gatland saying the Toulon-bound star will be out of action for the rest of the season.
Another player unlikely to feature against the Scots is lively scrum-half Rhys Webb who was forced off after 52 minutes with an ankle injury.
Gatland stressed the importance of finishing the competition well as well as unbeaten at home, two victories in Cardiff over Italy (23-15) and France (27-6) being offset by this weekend’s poor showing at Twickenham at their mauling to Ireland (26-3) in Dublin last month.
“We’ve got to win all our home games and come away with a 3-2 record – a good performance against Scotland is paramount,” he said.
“There is plenty for us to work on this week. We have to put our hands up and say we have been pretty inconsistent during this Six Nations.
“It is pretty vital that we finish the tournament on a high so that we can start thinking about the summer tour of South Africa and then the focus is on preparing for the World Cup (in 2015).”
Wales struggled badly in the scrum against England with loosehead Gethin Jenkins, equalling the record as Wales’ most capped player, yellow carded in the 53rd minute for persistent infringing.
Paul James could be one to start against Scotland after making an instant impact when he replaced Jenkins and time may finally also be called on fly-half Rhys Priestland after another uninspired display.
On potential changes, Gatland said: “One or two guys have come off the bench and maybe they deserve that (a chance).
“We have been pretty loyal to players in this championship…we aren’t going to make emotional decisions so soon after the game.”