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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Sergio Garcia tied the course record at Firestone by closing with seven straight birdies for a 9-under 61 to lead the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after round two
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play together in the opening two rounds of the PGA Championship next week at Valhalla
Jamaica are through to the final of the men's 4x100 metres relay but they had to rely on Usain Bolt to see them through at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
A round-up of action from the first day at the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup with big wins for England and New Zealand
Tiger Woods tried to keep things in perspective, acknowledging that he is ahead of his pace from a return to golf following back surgery