In Brief

Six Nations news: Wales star Leigh Halfpenny ruled out of French clash

Scotland add four players to squad after Hamish Watson breaks his hand

Wales won’t rush Halfpenny back

Wales head coach Warren Gatland does not expect to be able to call upon full-back Leigh Halfpenny for the first rounds of the 2019 Six Nations.  

Halfpenny is definitely out of Wales’ first match against France in Paris on 1 February and is also likely to miss the trip to Italy on 9 February. The 30-year-old suffered concussion against Australia in November.

Gatland told the BBC: “We probably won’t consider Leigh Halfpenny for the first couple of games. He is making progress and improving. We are mindful at the moment that he is a bit symptomatic with headaches but he has been taking part in training.

“For us it’s about easing him back in slowly. Hopefully he starts taking a more regular part in training and potentially look at including him towards the end of the tournament.

“He’s been doing a lot of one-on-one work with Neil Jenkins with his kicking, so that’s been a good distraction for him. There’s no pressure from us in trying to rush him back.”

Sky Sports adds that scrum-half Gareth Davies (quad) and centre Scott Williams (ankle) are also injury doubts for the clash in Paris. 

Watson breaks hand

Edinburgh back-row Hamish Watson has pulled out of the Scotland Six Nations squad after breaking his hand against Montpellier.

Watson’s injury has forced Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend to add four players to his squad.

Forwards Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh) and Matt Smith (Glasgow Warriors) are included alongside centre Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) and second-row Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors).

2019 Six Nations fixtures and TV guide

Round one
  • 1 February: France vs. Wales (8pm, live on BBC) 
  • 2 February: Scotland vs. Italy (2.15pm, live on BBC); Ireland vs. England (4.45pm, live on ITV) 
Round two
  • 9 February: Scotland vs. Ireland (2.15pm, live on BBC); Italy vs. Wales (4.45pm, live on ITV) 
  • 10 February: England vs. France (3pm, live on ITV) 
Round three
  • 23 February: France vs. Scotland (2.15pm, live on BBC); Wales vs. England (4.45pm, live on BBC) 
  • 24 February: Italy vs. Ireland (3pm, live on ITV) 
Round four
  • 9 March: Scotland vs. Wales (2.15pm, live on BBC); England vs. Italy (3pm, live on ITV) 
  • 10 March: Ireland vs. France (4.45pm, live on ITV) 
Round five
  • 16 March: Italy vs. France (12.30pm, live on ITV); Wales vs. Ireland (2.45pm, live on BBC) 
  • 17 March: England vs. Scotland (5pm, live on BBC)

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