Thomas and Parker fit for Wales' elimination encounter

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The Independent Online

Wales' head coach, Gareth Jenkins, expects his captain, Gareth Thomas, to be available for Saturday's crucial Pool B game against Fiji in Nantes.

Thomas, who is in line to win his 100th cap against the Fijians, damaged his ribs in a late tackle from Stirling Mortlock during Wales' 32-20 defeat to Australia in Cardiff. Sonny Parker, who injured his groin in the same game, has also made good progress.

Jenkins is due to name his team today. "Gareth is going really well in terms of his recovery and Sonny as well," he said. "We'll have an assessment tomorrow but it seems that, like it's been for most of the tournament, I'll be able to pick from a full squad."

The Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery has criticised the "appalling" press treatment of his Munster team-mate Ronan O'Gara. Rumours of gambling and marital problems have dogged the fly-half for the past year but only surfaced in print during the build-up to Friday's 25-3 defeat to France.

Flannery said: "Ronan's a friend of mine and he's disgusted with what's gone on. That's his private life and I don't know why it's in the press. To see one of our mates treated like that is appalling."

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