Growing injury list puts Llanelli on back foot

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The Independent Online

Llanelli's preparations for their Heineken Cup tie against Northampton on Sunday have been hampered by injury problems.

Such is the gravity of the situation that their director of rugby, Gareth Jenkins, called a halt to training yesterday. "We've got seven or eight players injured, and it simply isn't possible to do a day's training," he said. "The week's plans have gone out of the window."

The latest casualties are the prop Iestyn Thomas, who was hurt during squad training this week, and the captain, Leigh Davies, who has an injured hamstring.

The Sale scrum-half, Bryan Redpath, will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Redpath, who led Scotland during last year's World Cup campaign, has been told that he requires surgery. His Sharks team-mate, the lock Iain Fullarton, faces a six week lay-off after breaking his hand.

The former Samoa and New Zealand international Pat Lam, who has been working as Scotland's assistant coach, has been appointed as coach of Auckland.

He takes over from Wayne Pivac, who stepped down after leading Auckland to two successive National Provincial Championship titles.