Pivac drops Wales injury bombshell
WATCH as Wales coach Wayne Pivac gives an update on the injury status of his key players.
Pivac said he expected captain Alun Wyn Jones to miss the whole of his side’s Six Nations title defence next year.
Jones is set to undergo shoulder surgery after being injured during Wales’ opening 54-16 year-end loss to New Zealand at Cardiff last weekend.
It is the same shoulder Jones damaged prior to the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa earlier this year, although the veteran lock made a remarkable recovery to lead the combined side in all three Tests of a series won 2-1 by the Springboks.
Wales begin the 2022 Six Nations away to Ireland in Dublin on February 5, with Pivac saying of the 36-year-old Jones: “I don’t think he will be available for the Six Nations.
“You learn a lot about the worth of people when they are not there. I think a lot of people take Alun Wyn for granted `- he has always been there and got seniority.
“That leadership is really important. The essence is on others to step up and take that role on.”
Had he been fit, Jones would have won his 150th Wales cap against South Africa on Saturday to extend his world records for both most Tests for one country and in a career, with the second row’s overall tally standing at 161 appearances when his 12 Lions internationals are taken into account.
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Pivac, speaking after naming his team to play the World Cup winners, was confident Jones would return to regional duty with the Ospreys before the end of the current season.
And the New Zealander insisted he wanted Jones to be a member of Wales’ squad at the 2023 World Cup in France.
“The intention is always to see if Al can get to the World Cup,” said Pivac. “I think it’s a realistic goal, personally.
“You’ve just got to see him in training and when he is playing, the efforts he puts in. I don’t see anything going anywhere near backwards in terms of his performances.
“A bit of time off, we spoke about this before Al left camp. It’s not ideal for him.
“We are all looking forward to him playing 150 Test matches for Wales.”