Six Nations 2014: Wales captain Sam Warburton among 10 players released for club action
Warburton is short of match fitness having only returned in the weekend defeat to Ireland
Tuesday 11 February 2014
Wales captain Sam Warburton and prop Gethin Jenkins are among 10 players who will be released to their regional teams for RaboDirect PRO12 action later this week.
The list, announced by the Welsh Rugby Union, also includes Ospreys trio Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb and Ryan Bevington, in addition to Scarlets prop Samson Lee.
Warburton made his first start in more than two months after recovering from a shoulder injury when Wales were beaten 26-3 by RBS 6 Nations opponents Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
Prop Gethin Jenkins, who also started at the Aviva Stadium, is another player who has lacked game-time due to injury.
Both players are now likely to be involved for Cardiff Blues when they host Glasgow on Saturday, ahead of Wales resuming Six Nations action in a Millennium Stadium appointment with France the following Friday night.
The WRU also said that Ospreys centre Ashley Beck and number eight Dan Baker will train with the national squad this week and met up with them on Tuesday morning.
Centre Scott Williams, meanwhile, is continuing to undergo medical assessment after he was injured tackling Ireland star Brian O'Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium.
"Medical assessments on Scarlets centre Scott Williams, who injured his right shoulder in the defeat to Ireland, are ongoing," the WRU said in a statement.
The full list of players released for regional duty comprises Warburton, Jenkins, Biggar, Bevington, Webb, Beck, Baker, Lee, Emyr Phillips and James King.
Wales' defeat against Ireland was their heaviest in the Six Nations since Gatland took charge for the 2008 campaign.
They are currently fourth in the table, with hopes having now seriously diminished of them achieving an unprecedented title hat-trick this term.
Reflecting on the Ireland loss, Wales coach Warren Gatland said honesty was a big factor in assessing it.
"It was just a performance that was below par, a performance that wasn't good enough," Gatland told reporters at Wales' training base.
"We have tried to be as honest as we could be post the game from a coaching and a players' perspective.
"It's not a case of looking to blame, it's just saying let's hold our hands up and say that wasn't a good enough performance.
"If I look back on my playing career, every now and again you are going to have a performance that is poor. It's how you respond to that, and we admitted we just didn't play well enough.
"We have spoken to players, and they have admitted their display and performance was below par and unlike them. I have been pleased with the response of the players in terms of their attitude.
"We have had a close look at ourselves as coaches as well and what we could do differently, because we need to take collective responsibility for what was a disappointing performance.
"We will do whatever we can to make sure the performance is a lot better in the next game.
"We have set really high standards for ourselves as a team, and we have achieved a lot as a group. We are not hiding away from the fact that performance wasn't good enough and we didn't represent Wales as a nation as well as we could have."
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