Owen Lane Could Find Winding Road To Wales Call To Face The Scots

Owen Lane Could Find Winding Road To Wales Call To Face The Scots

Owen Lane may be the only new face in the Wales squad due to be named by Warren Gatland for the autumn series.

Lane, the 20-year-old Cardiff Blues wing who scored two tries against the Dragons in his region’s recent derby victory, limped off after helping his side to a thrilling Heineken Champions Cup victory in Lyon at the weekend, but is not considered likely to miss any action.

The versatile former Wales U20 player, who can also play at centre, could be the only uncapped player in a probable 36-man group for games against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa next month.

Call-ups, though, are also likely for Wasps flanker Thomas Young and Dragons back-row forward Ollie Griffiths, who both made their international debuts last year.

And three players who impressed during Wales’ successful summer tour of Argentina – prop Dillon Lewis, lock Adam Beard and back-row forward Aaron Wainwright – also seem set to be included.

If Lane is fit and selected, it is possible that he could make a Test debut against Scotland, especially as England-based backs Liam Williams and Josh Adams are unavailable because the match falls outside World Rugby’s autumn window and they must remain with their clubs.

But while Lane does not appear to be a major injury problem, Gatland will be without some influential performers.

Scarlets flankers Aaron Shingler and James Davies are both sidelined while they recover from serious knee injuries, and Bath’s 72 times-capped number eight Taulupe Faletau broke his arm on Gallagher Premiership duty against Exeter 10 days ago.

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Faletau had his right arm in a cast as he watched Bath’s Champions Cup defeat against Toulouse on Saturday, and it appears unlikely that he will be fit for any part of the autumn campaign.

Ross Moriarty is favourite to replace Faletau in the number eight shirt in Wales’ opening autumn appointment with Scotland on November 3.

Centre Scott Williams, meanwhile, is currently battling to overcome a hamstring injury and might not be available until late November.

Should Gatland decide not to include Williams, then it could mean a chance for Dragons centre Tyler Morgan, who started Wales’ 2015 World Cup quarter-final defeat against South Africa at Twickenham.

Wales will go into the Scotland match on the back of a five-Test unbeaten run, having defeated Italy, France, South Africa and Argentina (twice) since losing 37-27 to Six Nations opponents Ireland in February.

The Scotland fixture begins a 13-Test countdown to Wales’ 2019 World Cup campaign, which starts against Georgia next September.

And Gatland is also into the latter stages of his reign as Wales boss, with the World Cup being his farewell after taking up the post in 2008.

During that time, Wales have won three Six Nations titles and two Grand Slams, in addition to reaching the 2011 World Cup semi-finals – their best performance on a global stage for 24 years.


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