Cardiff's Patchell faces four months out
January 6, 2014
Cardiff will be without Patchell for their key Heineken Cup double header © Getty Images
Rhys Patchell has been ruled out of the Six Nations and Cardiff's crucial back-to-back Heineken Cup games after suffering a knee injury on New Year's Day which could keep him out for four months.
The 20-year-old, twice capped by Wales, was already nursing a shoulder problem before the game against the Dragons on January 1 but left the field on a stretcher after landing heavily on the rain-sodden plastic turf at Cardiff Arms Park. A scan confirmed the highly rated fly-half will require surgery on his knee, though he will not need reconstruction, and the club will also use his time out to find a remedy for his lingering shoulder problems.
Patchell's injury is a massive blow to the Blues as they prepare to travel to Nice to take on Toulon this Saturday, ahead of the visit of Exeter Chiefs next weekend, games which will determine Cardiff's fate in the competition. However it was Patchell's deputy Gareth Davies who engineered their shock 19-15 triumph over Toulon earlier in the tournament, and coach Phil Davies has backed him to fill the void once again.
"Gareth Davies will be there and we have got confidence in him," Davies told Wales Online.
"He has done a fantastic job for us this season. He came on here against Toulon and won us the game. We know we have got a big job ahead of us, but Gareth has got the ability to play, with his handling skills and playing flat to the line.
"It's about getting him to show what he can do and lead the team around the pitch."
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