Wales 'hopeful' centre Jonathan Davies will return before Australia

Jonathan Davies in action for Clermont
Jonathan Davies was the third Wales squad centre to suffer an injury in the second round of European Cup matches

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde is "hopeful" centre Jonathan Davies will return to training before the Test against Australia on 8 November.

Davies, 26, suffered a shoulder injury while playing for Clermont Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.

Fellow centres Scott Williams and Cory Allen could also be back in training soon after undergoing scans.

"It's pretty positive news all round," said McBryde.

This means Wales' centre crisis may not be as bad as first thought after a bruising weekend of European club rugby.

British and Irish Lion Davies was taken off in the 16th minute after helping to create a try for Nick Abendanon in Clermont's 35-3 victory.

Williams lasted only 20 minutes in the 15-3 win over Leicester before limping off with a tight hamstring.

Allen aggravated a muscle strain while helping Blues to a 33-18 win over Rovigo, leaving Jamie Roberts as the only fit centre.

But with less than two weeks to go before Warren Gatland's side face Australia, McBryde is upbeat about the extent of Wales' injury problems.

"We're still monitoring the way they're progressing as regards to their rehabilitation," he said.

"But it's looking good ahead of next week and hopefully all, if not most will be taking a part next week.

"It's too early to make a definite call, but it's a lot more positive than we first thought."

Davies will stay at the Wales training camp rather than returning to France to receive treatment.

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins remains optimistic about Davies' chances of being fit in time to face Australia.

"With a bit of luck most of the guys will be back full tilt next week," said Jenkins

"Obviously at this moment in time he's [Jonathan Davies] a worry.

"But I've no doubt with the medical staff that we've got that he'll be up and running and with a bit of luck by early next week to be available for Australia."

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: v Australia (14:30 GMT)
Saturday, 15 November: v Fiji (14:30 GMT)
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 GMT)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Veteran Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel has said wing George North has the capability to switch to centre to cover for any injuries.

It is something attack coach Rob Howley says the Wales management would consider: "Obviously that's an option for us if we need to go there.

"George is not a bad outside-centre and he did pretty okay on the wing at the weekend. It's fantastic to see him back to his Lions form."

Meanwhile flanker Justin Tipuric and prop Aaron Jarvis will be released from the Welsh squad to play for the Ospreys against Connacht on Friday, to get more game time ahead of the Australia match.

Wales also face Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa in November.

WALES SQUAD

Forwards:

Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).

Backs:

Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), James Roberts (Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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