Heineken Cup round-up: Davies operation adds to Welsh woe

 

They're going down like flies. Interim coach Rob Howley has seen Wales's injury list grow and grow and now his problems have reached crisis proportions. Bradley Davies needs an operation on his ankle injury, bringing the number of locks on the absentee list to four.

The 26-year-old's ligament injury needs intervention but his club, Cardiff Blues, cannot yet say how long the 6ft 6in, 19st forward will be out of action. The odds are that with Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans and Luke Charteris out of action, Ryan Jones and Lou Reed will be asked to take a walk on the wild side against Ireland in the opening match of Wales's Six Nations' Championship defence on Cardiff on 2 February.

Without Davies, Blues suffered a heroic 45-25 defeat in Toulon in their ill-fated Heineken Cup campaign to leave the French side still looking at the quarter-finals. There was at least good news for Howley in the form of Leigh Halfpenny, who salvaged a bonus point for Blues with a 60-metre run to claim his second try of the match.

The conversion brought his tally to 15 points, with Alex Cuthbert and Dafydd Hewitt also going over. Jonny Wilkinson converted four of Toulon's seven tries.

Bottom of Pool Six, Blues face losing their European top-six ranking and have to beat Sale on Saturday if they are to drag themselves up to third place.

Leinster are still hoping to complete a hat-trick of Heineken Cup triumphs after the champions kept alive their hopes of reaching the last eight by securing the first of two bonus-point victories they need to have any hope.

They trounced Scarlets 33-14 in Pool Five with tries from Healy, Jennings, Fitzgerald, Kearney and Madigan. Jonathan Sexton converted three of those tries and Ian Madigan added the extras on his own one.

Clermont Auvergne continued their charge through the pool with a six-try, 46-3 trouncing of Exeter that left them with an unblemished record and 23 points after David Skrela's try secured the bonus point.

In Pool Three, the top side, Harlequins, play their final game on Friday at Biarritz, who scored a predictably comfortable 32-6 victory at Zebre..

Tom Varndell, omitted by England, scored the fastest hat-trick in Amlin Challenge Cup history as Wasps qualified for the quarter-finals. Varndell completed his treble after only 13 minutes as Wasps beat Italy's Mogliano 71-7 at Adams Park.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project