Wyn Jones return can further enhance Wales’ Six Nations hopes
Wales surprised many with a gutsy 16-6 win away to France in the second match of their Six Nations campaign, and as such will travel to Italy brimming with confidence.
That triumph ended a run of eight consecutive defeats for Wales, and re-ignited last year’s Grand Slam winners’ hopes of claiming the coveted Six Nations title.
Whilst 1/5 England are still widely expected to land the prize, a much-needed restoration of pride came with 7/1 Wales’ success in Paris, and banished fears regarding the wooden spoon.
And with first-team regulars still to return, the upcoming trip to the Stadio Olimpico could prove another fruitful one for the Welsh.
Alun Wyn Jones has been recalled to the squad, and the Ospreys lock will be in contention to start in Rome, despite the impressive displays of Ian Evans and Andrew Coombs in France.
Wyn Jones has been out of action since November of last year, when he suffered a shoulder injury in Wales’ 26-12 defeat at home to Argentina.
But he made an instant impact upon his return to club rugby, coming off the bench to help Ospreys to a 16-12 win away to Ulster, the night preceding Wales’s victory in Paris.
And as one of three specialist second rows who missed the trip to France, Wyn Jones is the only one fit to play a part in his country’s Six Nations campaign.
He is not the only first-teamer expected to return however, with captain Sam Warburton also available to travel to Italy.
Ryan Jones took the captaincy in Paris in Warburton’s absence, but is expected to hand the armband back for what is a must-win clash for Warren Gatland’s men.
With the Italy tie the only buffer between Wales’ clash with tournament favourites England, Gatland is likely to choose his strongest side possible to build momentum ahead of that tie.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.