Dwayne Peel has been called into Wales' RBS 6 Nations squad as cover for Gareth Cooper, after the Gloucester scrum-half injured his knee in training today.
Peel, who has won 64 caps and was the 2005 Lions Test scrum-half in New Zealand, was a surprise omission from Warren Gatland’s 28-man squad that will begin the defence of their Six Nations title against Scotland at Murrayfield next Sunday.
Cooper was set to undergo an assessment on his injury today, but it is understood he will most likely miss Wales opening two matches of the Six Nations.
While Ospreys number nine Mike Phillips is expected to get the nod to start in those matches - against Scotland in Edinburgh and then at home to England - Peel will at least be presented with an opportunity he would otherwise have not expected off the substitutes’ bench.
A statement from the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed Peel’s inclusion, saying: “Sale Sharks scrum-half Dwayne Peel has been recalled to the Welsh RBS 6 Nations squad and will report for training on Tuesday morning.
“Although originally not included in Warren Gatland's 28-strong party to launch the defence of their Grand Slam title against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday February 8, he has been drafted in as cover for Gareth Cooper.
“Gloucester scrum-half Cooper picked up a knee injury in training today (Saturday) and is currently undergoing assessment and treatment.
“With only two scrum-halves in his 28-strong squad, Gatland has asked Peel to join the group next week as they build towards the game in Edinburgh.”
Peel moved to Sale at the start of the season but has found his playing time limited, allowing the likes of Cooper and Phillips to move ahead of him in the Wales pecking order.