Wayne Pivac has been forced to rejig the 37-man Wales squad announced last week after injuries precluded Ken Owens and Josh MacLeod from taking a sufficient enough part in training.

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Pivac named his squad eight days ago – a group that included seven uncapped players – for the upcoming autumn campaign which commences with an October 24 friendly versus France in Paris. However, the New Zealander has already been forced to tinker with his selection.

A statement from the WRU read: “Ken Owens (shoulder) and Josh Macleod (hamstring) have both been released from the Wales squad due to respective injuries which preclude them from taking a significant part in training. Elliot Dee (Dragons) and James Davies (Scarlets) have been called into the squad.”

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While no timeframe was stated, it’s believed Owens will miss the entire autumn programme after he apparently dislocated his shoulder playing for Scarlets against Glasgow. Macleod, meanwhile, was one of two uncapped forwards named last week, along with hooker Sam Parry, while five uncapped backs were Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit and Ioan Lloyd.

Bristol pivot Sheedy had been involved in a tug of war with England in recent times and, along with Williams, had played for England against the Barbarians.

RWC squad members Tomas Francis, Rhys Patchell and Jonathan Davies, who all missed the Guinness Six Nations campaign earlier this year, returned from injury and Davies revealed on Wednesday how he feared his Wales career was over following last November’s injury. “The type of surgery I had meant there was a waiting game,” he explained.

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“I had to keep my knee dead straight for twelve weeks and at that point, I had a scan to see how the surgery went. All other operations that I have had, you know you have been repaired when you are in the hospital bed and you have been stitched back up.

“But with this one, I was hoping the body would adapt and help itself to recover. Thankfully it did and since that point, it has been pretty good and I have been happy with my rehab programme.”

 

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