Wales fear they will face up to the England scrum on Saturday without Huw Bennett, their World Cup hooker. Bennett is struggling with calf trouble and the Wales assistant coach, Rob Howley, said yesterday: "Huw is unlikely to make it."
Bennett's withdrawal will probably open the door for the former captain and Lions Test forward Matthew Rees, who missed the World Cup with a serious neck problem and then saw his comeback interrupted by the kind of calf injury now affecting his rival.
Scotland have called the fly-half Ruaridh Jackson into their training party ahead of the meeting with France at Murrayfield on Sunday. Jackson, who established himself as first-choice No 10 at the World Cup, missed the opening rounds of the current tournament after failing to make a full recoverery from a damaged hamstring. He has since played two games for Glasgow.