Six Nations 2015: Sam Warburton and Dan Biggar declared fit
Assistant coach Rob Howley says key Wales duo will be available to face Ireland in Cardiff next week after overcoming minor injuries
Wales captain Sam Warburton and outside-half Dan Biggar will be fit to face Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations match in Cardiff on 14 March.
The pair picked up minor injuries during the 20-13 win over France in Paris last weekend, but Wales assistant coach Rob Howley confirmed they are both fit and available for selection.
Warburton was replaced in the second half and was seen limping at the full-time whistle with his knee strapped with ice, but a medical bulletin earlier in the week revealed the problems weren’t as serious as they may have appeared.
“They’ll be fit and available for selection,” Howley said.
“Sam’s contact was bone on bone. The medical word is contusion – I call it a bruise – so same for both players.”
The availability of Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton means the 26-year-old will break Ryan Jones’ record for the most caps as captain when he leads out Wales for the 34th time.
The occasion will be made all the more special for the Cardiff-born star, with the match against the reigning champions taking place at the Millennium Stadium.
Wales return to their citadel having won twice on the road since losing to England in the opening round, and their title hopes require a win against a country unbeaten in their last 10 matches.
But Wales will have to make do without Bath Rugby loosehead prop Paul James, who was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a fractured thumb following the win at the Stade de France last weekend.
That should mean that veteran prop Gethin Jenkins retains his place in the starting XV with Scarlets’ Rob Evans promoted to the bench with head coach Warren Gatland not expected to call up cover.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose Paul James with a fractured thumb,” Howley added.
“I think that he’s been one of our senior pros within the squad over the last couple of years and whenever he’s been asked to contribute to a team performance; he’s been a good guy to have.”