By David Williams
Wales lock Will Rowlands has confirmed he will miss the Six Nations with a shoulder injury.
The Dragons second row is set to return in April after undergoing surgery on the injury sustained during Wales’ Autumn Nations clash with Argentina last month.
Rowlands will be a big miss for his nation, who begin their campaign against Ireland on February 4 before concluding against France six weeks later.
A string of impressive performances in 2022 saw the 31-year-old named player of the year by the Welsh Rugby Writers Association (WRWA).
“The shoulder is OK, It is frustrating, but [the recovery] is just slow and steady,” he told the Scrum V Live programme. “Hopefully, I will be involved back in rugby in April time.”
Rowlands, who is reportedly set to join French side Racing 92 after leaving the Dragons at the end of this season, is also doubtful for the World Cup in September due to not fulfilling the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) selection criteria.
The policy states players playing their domestic club rugby outside Wales must have earned 60 or more caps to remain eligible for selection, thus rendering the 23-cap lock unavailable to Warren Gatland.
With Rowlands sidelined, the Dragons’ JJ Hanrahan kicked 14 points but still ended up on the losing side as Cardiff snatched victory in a pulsating URC Welsh Boxing Day derby at Rodney Parade.
A 79th minute try from Corey Domachowski clinched the win for Cardiff with Jarrod Evans, who came on for Rhys Priestland in the 32nd minute, adding the conversion to seal a five-point success.
Cardiff were ahead 14-11 at half-time with Tomos Williams and Josh Adams both getting in for first-half tries that Evans converted.
Hanrahan had kicked Dragons into a 6-0 advantage with a pair of early penalties, while Rio Dyer notched their try.
🎄 Nadolig Llawen! pic.twitter.com/Iavtmm4Gvx
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) December 26, 2022
A third Cardiff try arrived in the 51st minute courtesy of Williams, his second of the game. Hanrahan and Evans swapped penalties to leave it 22-14 in Cardiff’s favour on the hour mark.
But then Dragons fought back with Harrison Keddie bagging a try that Hanrahan converted and then the Kerry native nudged his team in front, 24-22, in the 71st minute.
Yet Domachowski proved the Cardiff hero with his late intervention.