Six Nations 2021: Wales duo Hardy and Biggar nursing injury problems

By Sports Desk March 04, 2021

Kieran Hardy has been released from the Wales squad after suffering a hamstring problem and Dan Biggar is also nursing an injury following the Six Nations victory over England last weekend.

The scrum-half scored a try in the leaders' 40-24 win at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, but also sustained an injury.

Hardy has returned to the Scarlets to continue his rehabilitation, with a weekend off to come before a trip to face bottom side Italy at Stadio Olimpico a week on Saturday.

Wales attack coach Stephen Jones said: "It's unfortunate [for Hardy] after having a wonderful performance against England.

"We've got three scrum-halves left who are good to go."

 Jones also confirmed fly-half Biggar is carrying an injury, but is "very optimistic" he can face the Azzurri.

Aaron Wainwright and Owen Watkin have been released to play for the Dragons and the Ospreys respectively this weekend. The duo will return to link up with the national team after featuring for their regions.

Wales wrapped up the Triple Crown with a defeat of the defending champions and lead France, who have a game in hand against Scotland, by five points.

France and Wales are set to do battle at Stade de France on March 20.

Related items

  • Italy would rather have avoided Portugal World Cup play-off draw - Mancini Italy would rather have avoided Portugal World Cup play-off draw - Mancini

    Roberto Mancini admitted Italy would rather not have to do battle with Portugal for a place in the 2022 World Cup if they get past North Macedonia.

    The European champions were on Friday drawn to face North Macedonia in a semi-final next March after missing out on automatic qualification for the tournament in Qatar.

    Italy will come up against either Portugal or Turkey in a decisive showdown if they avoid a semi-final upset.

    Euro 2016 champions Portugal were consigned to a play-off spot in dramatic fashion as Aleksandar Mitrovic's last-gasp strike saw Serbia through as Group A winners.

    Italy boss Mancini is confident his side will qualify, but gave an honest reaction to the prospect of trying to deny Cristiano Ronaldo what could be his last trip to a World Cup.

    He said: "We are always confident and positive. Macedonia had a good qualifying group, we will have to play a great match. Then we will see what happens in the final.

    Asked about the prospect of coming up against Portugal, he said: "We would have liked to avoid them, in the same way Portugal would have gladly avoided Italy."

    The draw also threw up the possibility of Wales going up against Scotland for a place in the finals, should they overcome Austria and Ukraine.

    Russia will host Poland, with the winners playing either Sweden or the Czech Republic. 

  • Italy or Portugal to miss out on 2022 World Cup Italy or Portugal to miss out on 2022 World Cup

    Italy or Portugal will miss out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the two most recent European champions were drawn in the same play-off path.

    Roberto Mancini led Italy to a Euro 2020 triumph earlier this year, yet the Azzurri failed to qualify automatically for next year's World Cup, with Switzerland progressing instead.

    Portugal, Euro 2016 winners, also fell short, finishing three points behind Serbia in Group A.

    And now one of the heavyweights will fail to appear in Qatar, with both teams drawn together in Path C of the play-offs, which will take place in March.

    Italy were drawn in a semi-final against minnows North Macedonia, who are aiming to make their first appearance at a World Cup, while Portugal will face Turkey.

    Should they progress, Portugal will have home advantage in the Path C final to determine which team progresses to Qatar. While Cristiano Ronaldo could well be fighting to play in his final World Cup, the Azzurri will be aiming to avoid missing out on the tournament for a second successive time.

    Path A threw up the possibility of Wales going up against Scotland for a place in the finals, should they overcome Austria and Ukraine, who went unbeaten in a qualifying group that also included reigning world champions France, respectively.

    In Path B, Russia will host Poland and Sweden will play the Czech Republic. 

    The winner of Russia v Poland will host the Path B final.

    Play-offs draw in full

    Path A

    SF1 – Scotland v Ukraine

    SF2 – Wales v Austria

    F1 – Winner SF2 v Winner SF1

    Path B

    SF3 – Russia v Poland

    SF4 – Sweden v Czech Republic

    F2 – Winner SF3 v Winner SF4

    Path C

    SF5 – Italy v North Macedonia

    SF6 – Portugal v Turkey

    F3 – Winner SF6 v Winner SF5

  • Erasmus and SA Rugby opt against appeal and apologise for criticism of officials Erasmus and SA Rugby opt against appeal and apologise for criticism of officials

    Rassie Erasmus and SA Rugby have withdrawn their intention to appeal against sanctions imposed and have apologised to match officials for misconduct during the British and Irish Lions series.

    South Africa director of rugby Erasmus was last week banned from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from matchday activities until September 30 next year.

    Erasmus was in hot water after he accused the Lions of "reckless and dangerous" play in their 22-17 win in the first Test in July and hit out at the standard of refereeing from Nic Berry.

    The World Cup-winning coach also made the claims in a 62-minute video clip posted on social media as he highlighted what he felt were a number of calls that went against the world champions.

    Erasmus also retweeted clips from an anonymous Twitter user, alleged to be one of his own accounts, highlighting "questionable calls".

    World Rugby last week revealed that an independent misconduct committee found the 49-year-old was guilty of all six charges that were brought against him.

    The 49-year-old was also warned about his future conduct and told to issue an apology to the relevant match officials, while a fine of £20,000 was issued to SA Rugby along with a warning over the governing body's conduct going forward.

    Both Erasmus and SA Rugby stated they would exercise their rights to appeal the verdicts, but both parties have now decided against challenging the sanctions.

    A statement released by SA Rugby on Thursday said: "SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus wish to apologise to the match officials appointed to the first Test of the Springboks' Series against the British and Irish Lions.

    "We also confirm that SA Rugby and Erasmus have advised World Rugby that they withdraw their Notice of Appeal and will not lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Committee.

    "This has been a highly stressful and charged environment with unusual pressures placed on all concerned and we have no wish to prolong that experience for anyone.

    "We have drawn a line under the incident and only wish to look forward. We will respect the outcomes of the hearing, allowing our national teams and rugby operations to plan with clarity for the coming months."

    A World Rugby statement said: "World Rugby welcomes the public apology from SA Rugby and Rassie Erasmus to the match officials involved in the first test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this year and the matter is closed."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.