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Wales hopeful Byrne will face England

Wales remain hopeful that Lee Byrne will be available for next Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham.

Full-back Byrne is currently banned following his brief illegal appearance as a 16th player In during the Ospreys' Heineken Cup victory over Leicester nine days ago.

But Byrne has appealed the suspension, with a hearing likely to take place in Dublin tomorrow.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has delayed his team announcement for England, which he had planned to make yesterday, pending the outcome of Byrne's appeal.

If the British and Irish Lions star loses his appeal, then James Hook looks set to retain the number 15 shirt he wore during Wales' autumn Tests this season.

Byrne last week admitted a misconduct charge, while the Ospreys were fined 25,000 euros.

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards said: "I think we will know by tomorrow where we are as regards to whether Lee can play or not.

"As regards training, we are training with two teams - one with Lee in it, and other times with him not in it.

"We are sure he will get a fair and proper hearing, and obviously we will go along with whatever adjudication they come out with.

"I think a lot of people are hopeful Lee will play a part in the game."