Andrew fury at RFU over his player's fractured jaw

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The Independent Online

Rob Andrew attacked the Rugby Football Union yesterday after discovering that one of his players, David Wilson, had spent most of the weekend with an undiagnosed fractured jaw.

Wilson, 20, suffered the injury while playing for England Under-21s in the victory over Ireland Under-21s at Worcester on Friday night which clinched a second Grand Slam in three years. Andrew - who also announced yesterday that he would not be interested in the job of England manager - said: "It's absolutely ridiculous that Wilson wasn't taken for an X-ray after complaining of jaw pains. He came home at the weekend, after the game, and as soon as we heard he was experiencing pain we told him to go to hospital immediately in South Shields. X-rays showed he had broken his jaw, and there is now a very real chance he could miss the rest of the season."

Last night the Rugby Football Union contested Andrew's claims, a statement saying: "The team doctor assessed David Wilson after the England U-21 game against Ireland on Friday night, in which he played a full 80 minutes, and again the following morning before the squad dispersed. After neither consultation was the doctor suspicious of a significant injury."

Yesterday Wilson was moved to Sunderland General Hospital where he underwent surgery. Andrew said: "It's staggering that with all their resources the RFU medical team did not even take him to be looked at, and I'm furious with the shambolic way this whole episode has been handled."

The Welsh Rugby Union has advertised for the post of head coach giving candidates a deadline of 7 April to submit their CVs. Candidates will be interviewed by a newly appointed WRU "Big Five" panel, comprising David Pickering (chairman), Steve Lewis (chief executive), Mostyn Richards (high performance manager), Alan Jones (chairman, game policy committee) and Gerald Davies (board member).

It is looking likely that the Wales captain, Gareth Thomas, will not be going on the two-Test tour of Argentina this summer. There had been fears that Thomas would be forced to retire after suffering a "mini-stroke" when an artery in his neck ruptured. "I have been advised to give it a miss," said Thomas.

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