Lions and Wales No.9 Dwayne Peel has been ruled out the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations Championship with a torn hamstring.
The Sale Sharks scrum-half will be replaced in the starting XV to face Italy in Rome on Saturday by Ospreys' Mike Phillips, with London Irish's third choice scrum-half Warren Fury coming on to the bench.
It is a major blow to Peel, who has been out of favour with Wales head coach Warren Gatland and only started one Test under the New Zealander so far. Peel suffered the injury playing for his club against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.
He is expected to be sidelined for a month, which will rule him out of Wales' Six Nations finale against Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday week.Reuse content