Rugby Union: Quinnell doubtful for Wales

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The Independent Online
A BACK injury is threatening to force Scott Quinnell out of the Wales team for Saturday's World Cup ranking match against Romania in Bucharest. The Llanelli No 8 took no part in the Welsh squad training weekend in Cardiff and he is likely to undergo a fitness test today, writes Robert Cole.

'We'd like to leave the decision as late as possible,' the Wales manager Rob Norster said. Emyr Lewis, dropped for the first time under coach Alan Davies, is on stand-by for a recall to the position in which he feels best suited to play. Having played across the back row for Wales, Lewis felt so frustrated at not being able to play No 8 at Llanelli that he moved to Cardiff during the summer.

Neath's Steve Williams joined the squad for the weekend and is in line to take over Lewis's place on the replacements bench. Williams won his only cap to date in the 18-9 win over Tonga on 22 June.

The Welsh pack leader Gareth Llewellyn was unable to scrummage over the weekend because of the eight stitches he had put into his cut ear after the midweek match at Cardiff, while the replacement full-back Tony Clement sat out the final two sessions after bursting a blister on his foot during a Friday night fitness test.

Wales' other big concern before Saturday's vital test is the outside half Neil Jenkins, who has been having daily treatment for shin soreness. The Pontypridd player has been in so much pain recently that he has had to stop practising his goalkicking. 'I felt a bit of stiffness today, but I feel pretty confident I'll be OK,' Jenkins said.

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