Wales examine video evidence of Evans injury

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The Independent Online
Robert Norster, the Wales team manager, will today examine video evidence of the incident which led to the prop, Ricky Evans, becoming the third Welsh player to break a leg this season during the 21-9 Five Nations defeat in Paris.

The French lock, Olivier Merle, stands accused of head-butting Evans at a maul that followed a line-out at which the Frenchman had lost the ball. Evans went down at the maul and was eventually carried off on a stretcher with a cracked tibia and fibula. He will miss the rest of the season and is also likely to be ruled out of the World Cup.

"I haven't seen the incident as yet. I've taped the game and I will be looking through it on Monday," Norster said. There were no complaints from the Welsh camp after the game about the circumstances which led to the injury.

Evans, though, was able to give a graphic description of what happened in the build-up to his unfortunate break and was in no doubt that Merle had head-butted him.

"I had supported Gareth Llewellyn at a French line-out and we stole the ball off them at the front. Merle obviously didn't like that," Evans said.

"When it happened again he came across and head butted me. I fell over, the ruck formed on top of me and my leg got caught. I knew I had twisted it but I wasn't sure how bad it was. When I stood up I could feel something loose in my boot."

Initially, Evans wanted to carry on playing and, when he realised that was impossible, the Cardigan fireman then asked to walk off rather than be carried on a stretcher.

"He cracked his tibia and fibula bones near the ankle joint. It is an injury that is very similar to the one suffered by Ieuan Evans," the Welsh team doctor, Roger Evans, said.

"There is no reason why he shouldn't recover as quickly as Ieuan and rehabilitation work will begin as soon as possible after the operation."

Ieuan Evans sustained his injury on 1 October, yet he is expected to return to action with Llanelli on Saturday. A week later Wales lost the full-back, Mike Rayer, until next season with a double fracture of the leg and they were without the services of Nigel Davies, Emyr Lewis, Hemi Taylor, Wayne Proctor and Steve Williams for the game in Paris.

Their other casualty from Paris, the wing, Simon Hill, should be fit in a fortnight after badly spraining an ankle.