Injuries to Bishop and Jones rub salt into Welsh wounds after drubbing

New Zealand 42 Wales 9
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The Independent Online

Wales centre Andrew Bishop has been ruled out of Saturday's final Test match against New Zealand after breaking his hand during the comprehensive defeat to the All Blacks in Dunedin.

The 24-year-old Ospreys midfielder suffered the injury late in the match and X-rays confirmed the break which will keep him out of action for a month.

"Andrew has a spiral fracture to the third metacarpal bone in his right hand," Wales physiotherapist Mark Davies said. "The injury is not complex but he is in plaster and will be out of action for the next four weeks."

Fly-half Stephen Jones also suffered a hand injury during the second half on Saturday but requires further assessment before a decision will be made on his participation in the remainder of the tour.

"Stephen has a sore thumb. He has been X-rayed but the initial results are inconclusive and we are arranging for a further scan to fully determine the extent of the injury," Davies said.

No replacement will be called in for Bishop and a final decision will be made on Jones and any potential replacement for the fly-half during the next 24 hours.

Mike Phillips switched to centre when Bishop was forced off as Jonathan Davies had already come on as a replacement. With Davies now likely to join Jamie Roberts in the centres Will Harries could find himself on the replacements bench as backs cover if coach Warren Gatland chooses to stick with the same back three of Lee Byrne, Tom Prydie and Leigh Halfpenny.

Captain Ryan Jones has called on his players to dig deep and display some strength of character as they look to bounce back from the five tries to none humbling.

The Ospreys backrower likened the situation to the one the 2008 Grand Slam-winning team found themselves in in South Africa two years ago, when they were crushed 43-17 by the Springboks in the first Test but produced a far better performance in the second to lose just 37-21 in Pretoria.

"It's about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off because there is next week," he said. "We can't give up, pack up and go home. We've got to show a bit of character."

Byrne echoed his captain's sentiments and expected his team-mates would respond strongly. "It will be a test of our character now. Obviously the boys are going to be a bit down at the moment after that [loss]," the full-back said.

"But I'm sure in the week we'll have a good couple of days to regenerate and recoup. We'll get our heads back on Wednesday and I'm sure there's boys here biting to have another go and that's the good thing about it. We can put it right in a short space of time. Sometimes you don't get another chance."

New Zealand: Tries Carter 2, Mealamu, Jane, Kahuim; Conversions Carter 4; Penalties Carter 3. Wales: Pens Halfpenny, S Jones; Drop goal S Jones. New Zealand: I Dagg (R Kahui, 41); C Jane, C Smith, B Stanley, J Rokocoko; D Carter (A Cruden, 73), J Cowan (P Weepu, 60); B Franks (T Woodcock, 46), K Mealamu (A de Malmanche, 76), O Franks, B Thorn, A Boric (S Whitelock, 57), V Vito, K Read (A Thomson, 69), R McCaw (capt).

Wales: L Byrne; L Halfpenny, A Bishop (T Knoyle, 74), J Roberts (J Davies, 68), T Prydie; S Jones (D Biggar, 57), M Phillips; P James, M Rees (H Bennett, 69), A Jones (J Yapp, 57), B Davies, A W Jones, J Thomas, R Jones (capt), G Thomas (R McCusker, 58).

Referee: G Clancy (Ireland).