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Rugby World Cup: Priestland a doubt for Wales’ France clash

| 12.10.2011

Wales’ hopes of making their first World Cup final have been dealt a blow with Rhys Priestland a major doubt for their game against France this Saturday.

The fly-half has been brilliant for Wales so far in the tournament but could miss the game because of a shoulder injury he sustained in their impressive quarter final win over Ireland.

Preistland sat out training for the Welsh on Tuesday meaning the door could be open for another of the Welsh players to take his place.

Thankfully, Wales are blessed in the fly-half position with the experienced and solid Stephen Jones and the more flamboyant James Hook both pushing for a starting place.

Wales boss Warren Gatland has plumped for youth so far in this tournament but the experience of Jones could prove vital in the biggest game Wales have played since their last semi final appearance in 1987.

Hook is determined to stake his claim however, and believes he can fill the hole at No.10.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “Rhys has had a bump and I would be there if needed and selected.

“I have been in the camp for the last six weeks and I am familiar with the calls. If I am called upon, I would be chuffed.”

Wales head into the game as narrow favourites at 4/5 with France out at 11/10 to make their third World Cup final.

Losing Preistland would be a blow for Wales but, with Jones and Hook both more than capable of deputising, Wales are still worthy favourites.



Richard Anderson