Abrasive back-rower Ross Moriarty is set to hand Warren Gatland and Wales a huge boost before next month’s Six Nations as he has been declared fit to return to action for club Gloucester this weekend.
17 times-capped Moriarty has only made one appearance for the Cherry and Whites this season after injuring a nerve in his back during the British and Irish Lions’ opening tour match against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at the start of June.
The 23-year-old aggravated the injury during his comeback in November against Leicester in an Anglo-Welsh Cup tie, but is now back in training and available for selection for Friday night’s European Challenge Cup match away to French side Agen.
Speaking to Gloucestershire Live today, Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann confirmed that Moriarty was ready to return to action and that he would be getting game time over the next four weeks,
“He’s fit and training again, he’s ready for selection. He’s in full contact and he’ll get game time over the next four weeks.”
The return of the versatile star, who can play at both six and eight, is a huge boost for Warren Gatland who has seen his squad ravaged by injuries prior to next month’s tournament.
Jonathan Davies, Sam Warburton, Jake Ball and Dan Lydiate have all been ruled out for the whole of the Six Nations while other stars such as Taulupe Faletau, Hallam Amos and George North are to miss the start of the tournament.
Having struggled to get over the gain-line during the autumn, the 16-stone-ten powerhouse would give Wales much needed go forward while his huge physicality in defence would also be a huge plus the Alun Wyn Jones-led team.
And his ability to play at eight, something he did with so much aplomb in last year’s Six Nations, means that provided he comes through the next few weeks unscathed, he is a viable option at eight for Wales’ Six Nations opener against Scotland in Cardiff on February 3.
Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena