Pontypool-born Gareth Maule back from injury
PONTYPOOL-BORN centre Gareth Maule is set to make a welcome return from injury for the Scarlets on Friday night as they aim to get back to winning ways in Edinburgh.
He has made a rapid recovery from a knee injury sustained in the pre-season defeat at Gloucester and is fit for this weekend’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Murrayfield.
Maule, 25, missed the Scarlets’ 23-16 defeat to his former region Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade last Friday night.
It’s timely news for the Llanelli-based side to have the ex-Ebbw Vale, Cross Keys and Newport player available.
Under pressure head coach Simon Easterby will be without utility back Steve Shingler and Gareth Owen as the Scarlets look to bounce back after an uncertain start to the season.
He welcomed Maule’s return and praised the Wales Under-20s cap for his consistency.
“Gareth had a nasty injury in Gloucester which looked like it could have been a lot worse than it was,” said Easterby.
“He has come back really well, the physios and conditioners have got him back quicker than we thought. It is great to have him back pushing for places over the next few weeks.
“He is a player who very rarely has a bad game. With Deacon Manu out at the moment we have only got Phil John who is over 30 years old in our squad.
“Gareth isn’t experienced in years, but he is in terms of playing at this level and we are going to need that when it comes to our European fixtures and when a large number of our squad go away this autumn.”
Easterby could keep Wales internationals Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams in midfield with Maule possibly featuring on the wing and either Liam Williams or Jordan Williams switching to their preferred position of full back after starting at 14 and 11 respectively against the Dragons.
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