Six Nations: Prop Adam Jones on Wales standby in case of injury

Prop Adam Jones has won 95 Wales caps and five for the British and Irish Lions
Prop Adam Jones has won 95 Wales caps and five for the British and Irish Lions

Wales coach Warren Gatland said they will turn to Adam Jones if they have injury problems after the prop failed to make the Six Nations squad.

British and Irish Lions and Cardiff Blues tight-head Jones, 33, was also left out during the autumn.

"It was a long debate about leaving Adam out because we know he's been working hard," Gatland said after picking his 34-man squad.

"But we know his experience and if we do get injuries we can call him in."

Uncapped Rob Evans, the Wales Under-20 loose-head, Gethin Jenkins, Paul James, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee and Scott Andrews are the props in the squad.

Scarlets prop Rhodri Jones is sidelined by a shoulder injury, as is Ospreys' Nicky Smith, but tight-head Lee appears to have overcome the nerve problem in his neck that ruled him out of recent Scarlets games.

"It was easy enough for us to pick Adam if Samson had been injured and not available, then we probably would have gone down the road of picking Adam Jones with Rhodri having been injured as well," Gatland said.

"It's about us developing some strength in depth in that position that we don't have a huge amount of.

"With Adam at the moment we felt that we didn't see him as a player that comes off the bench, we see him as a starter and someone that is going to start in that position if he does come into the squad."

Wales' Six Nations Fixtures:
Friday, 6 February: England (Cardiff)
Sunday, 15 February: Scotland (Murrayfield)
Saturday, 28 February: France (Paris)
Saturday, 14 March: Ireland (Cardiff)
Saturday, 21 March: Italy (Rome)

Despite Andrews, who has five caps, being behind Jones and Craig Mitchell in the pecking order at Cardiff Blues, the 25-year-old has got the nod from the national squad.

"With Scott we've got a lot of time for him as a rugby player and again he hasn't had many opportunities at tight-head," Gatland added.

"When you're picking a squad you're looking at the balance within that squad as well and you're picking players sometimes that, not to say making up the numbers, but making sure you've got some strength in depth and we've got some live scrummaging.

"He's a quality person Scott and he fits in, and he's probably at a crossroads in his career now where he kicks on and what he does and taking the opportunities.

"Rob [Evans] was very good last weekend, we've had him in the squad before and been involved, so we've been impressed with him as a loose-head.

"You've got two very experienced players in front of him in Gethin and Paul James as well, so he's come in and done a bit of time."

One of the seven Cardiff Blues named in the squad is fly-half Gareth Anscombe, the uncapped Wales-qualified New Zealander who can also play across the backline.

"We've some good depth there at the moment and players pushing pretty hard," Gatland said.

"And a difference of 10s as well: you've got Dan Biggar and his qualities and then Rhys Priestland, obviously you know his strengths and some weaknesses to work on, and Gareth comes in and gives us a different option.

"So we've got some strength in depth there and it's going to be an interesting fight for those positions over the next six months."

Wales open their Six Nations campaign on Friday, 6 February against England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

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