Chris Kirwan, SWA writes :
NEWPORT have been dealt a double injury blow with the news that two young guns face spells on the sidelines. Loosehead prop Aaron Coundley and fly-half Lewis Robling have been ruled out of action with hamstring and foot injuries respectively. Coundley, who has been in superb form in recent weeks, came off early in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Leinster A and the Black and Ambers initially feared his injury was a bad one. However, it now appears that the 21-year-old won’t be out for too long, though the damage will only be clear when he undergoes a second X-ray next week. Robling’s injury came out of the blue with the news coming as a shock when a specialist revealed that a slight problem with a bone in his foot will rule the 19-year-old out for three months.
The silver lining for Newport is that they have players ready to step into the breach in place of the two young Dragons players against champions Neath on Sunday. Dai Pattison is back from suspension at loosehead and should soon be battling for a starting spot with Dan Watchurst.
He injured his left shoulder skippering Wales in the Junior World Championship in the summer and is about three weeks away from a return. And head coach Sven Cronk believes injuries to fly-halves Lewis Robling and Rhys Jones open the door for Chris Wannell.
“Chris has been working hard and has got an opportunity to show what he can do now,” he said.
“There is no doubt that he has the ability and he has really impressed us with the way he has worked on his fitness and game in training. Hopefully that will pay off over the next few weeks.”
The Black and Ambers’ physio’s room is a crowded one at the moment with full-back Alan Awcock (knee), wing Mike Poole (knee), wing Jamie Tibbs (shoulder), centre Gareth Chapman (ankle), Jonathan Evans (wrist), lock Dafydd Rosser (knee), flanker Craig Hill (ankle) and number eight Dan McShane (knee) out of action.