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Rugby World Cup: Wales fighting fit for Ireland quarter final clash

| 03.10.2011

While England are still counting the mounting injuries and suspensions, Wales head into their quarter final game with Ireland, boasting a full complement of fully fit players.

Wales’ record try scorer Shane Williams and James Hook will be back in full-training this week and Dan Lydiate also looks likely to make himself available, giving Warren Gatland the good kind of selection problems.

It’s an unusual situation for Wales who came into the tournament with skipper Matthew Rees, Gethin Jenkins and Gavin Henson all ruled out before their final World Cup squad was even announced.

Speaking to the Western Mail, defence coach Shaun Edwards said: “Over the last two or three years we’ve definitely had more than our fair share of injuries and it’s probably come at the right time that we have a lot of guys available.

“I think we’re looking pretty healthy, probably the healthiest we’ve been, going into this week. It’s very promising in that area.”

Meanwhile, Ulster hooker Rory Best looks set to miss the clash having picked up a shoulder injury in Ireland’s final 36-6 pool win against Italy at the weekend.

It would be a huge blow for Declan Kidney’s side, with Best being brilliant so far down in New Zealand.

Things are currently extremely tight in the betting with Ireland heading into the game as narrow 8/11 favourites, with Wales back at 6/5 to make the semis.



Richard Anderson