Six Nations: Wales call in Alun Wyn Jones and Richard Hibbard

Alun Wyn Jones

RBS Six Nations: England v Wales

Venue:
Twickenham Stadium
Date:
25 February
Kick-off:
1600 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC One Wales, BBC Radio Wales & online, S4C and Radio Cymru, plus live text and score updates on the BBC Sport website

Wales have called lock Alun Wyn Jones and hooker Richard Hibbard into their squad ahead of Saturday's Triple Crown bid against England at Twickenham.

Jones has made two Ospreys appearances since recovering from surgery on a dislocated toe.

Hibbard, 26, returns amid injury concerns over another felllow Osprey, Huw Bennett, and Scarlet Matthew Rees.

Coach Warren Gatland also hopes lock Luke Charteris returns before the end of the Six Nations.

Dragons player Charteris was expected to miss the Championship due to a wrist injury.

Rees and Bennett have calf injury worries, leaving Wales with only the latter's recent deputy, Scarlet Ken Owens, as an option until Hibbard was called in.

Jones, 28, comes in after proving his fitness following Bradley Davies' seven week ban for a tip-tackle in Wales' win over Ireland in Dublin.

Bennett suffered his calf injury during Wales' victory over Scotland while Rees has missed the opening two games.

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Wales win 'not a given' - Jones

"[We're] a little concerned with the two hookers. [We're] not sure whether they are going to be quite right, which is disappointing," said Gatland.

George North (ankle), Ryan Jones (dead leg), Rhys Priestland (calf) and Justin Tipuric (ankle) missed training during the week.

French-based players Lee Byrne, James Hook and Mike Phillips and English-based trio Rhys Gill, Andy Powel and Craig Mitchell were also unavailable having returned to club duty.

And the Welsh management team allowed a number of squad players to return to their regions for this weekend's round of Pro12 matches.

"I'm hoping not too many players pick up injuries with their regions," added Gatland.

"If that's good we should have a reasonably full compliment of the squad to train next week, which will be good for competition.

"With the two second rows coming back and hopefully the two hookers won't be too far away as well."

Wales expect captain Sam Warburton to be fit to face England at Twickenham on 25 February.

Flanker Warburton was a late withdrawal from the side that beat Scotland and will not train until Monday.

Warburton withdrew from Wales' side just before kick-off against Scotland, with Aaron Shingler making an impressive Test debut in his place.

The captain had been selected despite doing no contact work in training during the lead-up to the match, but Wales say he will be "fully integrated" back into training on Monday.

Shingler was called into action because Warburton's understudy Tipuric was out with an ankle injury, but the young Ospreys open-side is also set to be back in contention to face England.

Jones captained the side in Warburton's absence but he was limping heavily as the players left the field and is said to be in the "early stages" of his recovery.

Meanwhile Gatland has said Wales are not intimidated by the task facing them against England at Twickenham next weekend.

Wales have won only once at Twickenham during the last 25 years - a 26-19 victory during the Grand Slam season of 2008.

"There is definitely not that fear factor now," Gatland told BBC Wales' Sport Wales.

"If we go there with our heads right and get some quality ball, we have got a good chance. We are not afraid of going to Twickenham now, we are excited about it.

"I expect England might have the attitude that if they can get four penalties, a try and conversion and get 19 points, and they can squeeze us, that might be enough.

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Roberts ignores Triple Crown talk

"It is a great challenge for us going to Twickenham as favourites. This young team has got to learn to accept that and deal with those expectations, because in Wales there is nothing in between - it is all or nothing.

"There is only one consequence of being built up and that is you get quickly knocked down. We have got to make sure we keep our feet on the ground.

"A lot of people are talking us up which is going to add to England's motivation, and we have got to handle that.

"I have generally got fond memories of Twickenham [where he launched his tenure as Wales coach with victory in 2008], but talking to some Wales players who played over the past 20 years, it was a bit different when they were fully loaded with [Martin] Johnson, [Lawrence] Dallaglio, Back and all the others."

WALES SQUAD

Backs: Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Gavin Henson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne)

Forwards: Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Lou Reed (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (capt, Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets).

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