Ospreys and Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones 'out for six weeks'

Alun Wyn Jones
Wales coach Warren Gatland says Alun Wyn Jones has been only 80% fit in recent weeks

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones has been ruled out of Ospreys' side for up to six weeks, according to national coach Warren Gatland.

The 30-year-old has a heel injury that has ruled him out of Wales' final 2016 Six Nations game in Cardiff against Italy on Saturday.

Gatland says Jones has been only 80% fit in recent weeks, adding that the player "needs to recover".

Ospreys' next match is at home to Scarlets in the Pro 12 on 25 March.

Wales face England, then New Zealand three times on tour in the summer.

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Gatland said: "The medics think he needs six weeks rest. So that's why we made the decision that we didn't pick him this week.

"He could have dug in to get through, but we're just making sure that we manage him over the next few weeks and work closely with the Ospreys and bring him back towards the end of the season and look at some conditioning."

Jones will be given a specific training programme. Gatland added: "Hopefully we get a fresh and fit Alun Wyn for New Zealand.

"I don't think he would have played this week if it had been a decider.

"He's been operating at about 80% and dug in for the last few weeks. He needs a few weeks rest to try and take some of the pressure off the foot that's been holding him back."