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Wales Online
Wales Online
Jon Doel & Matthew Southcombe

Today's rugby news as luckless Wales captain has another knee operation and team-mate's neck injury emerges

Here are the latest rugby headlines on Saturday, September 3.

Ellis Jenkins recovering from knee surgery

Wales and Cardiff flanker Ellis Jenkins is recovering from another knee operation, his Director of Rugby Dai Young has revealed.

The 29-year-old battled for two years and had multiple surgeries to save his career after suffering a severe knee injury in 2018. But the current issue appears to be nowhere near as serious and is not in the limb that he previously injured.

Jenkins, who captained Wales last autumn, was absent from the Blue and Blacks' opening pre-season fixture against Gloucester on Friday night and Young revealed he had what is suggested to be relatively minor surgery at the end of last year.

"Ellis hasn't trained all summer," Young told WalesOnline. "He picked up a bit of a niggle in his knee. Not the one that he seriously injured, the other one.

READ MORE: 'The man in the blue hat' is finally back and the signs are very encouraging

"He had a clear out towards the end of last season, nothing serious, and it's been a little bit problematic, to be honest. Nobody is panicking about it but hopefully he's in training next week. That's the reason he didn't play against Gloucester."

None of Cardiff's Wales internationals were in action at Kingsholm, although some may return for the next pre-season tune-up, against Zebre next week. One man who is struggling with injury, though, is Josh Navidi.

Young added: "Our only international available next week is Rhys Carre. James Ratti is available as well but he's got a bit of a twinge so we're not sure if he's going to be fit.

"Most of our other internationals are available for Munster. They've all turned up in great nick - Liam Williams, Taulupe Faletau, Lopeti Timani.

"Josh Navidi won't be available because he's struggling with a bit of a neck injury."

Cardiff focus on positives

Cardiff Rugby boss Dai Young was keen to pick the positives out of a heavy pre-season defeat against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

A depleted Blue and Blacks side went down 42-17 to the English side, who weren't far off full strength for their final pre-season match.

Cardiff were blown away 28-0 in the first half but rallied well in the second period, scoring three tries through Kristian Dacey, Aled Summerhill and Harri Millard.

Young said: “We can take a lot of good things from tonight - it was a real worthwhile exercise. It was always going to be a big challenge coming here because this was Gloucester’s third pre-season game, their season starts next week and that was not far off their best team.

“Lots of our boys weren't available for tonight's game, but that's a great challenge for the for the youngsters coming through. We had a very young backline first half, but I thought they did really well.

“Nobody wants to lose and nobody wants to rack up big scores but I think we'll take a lot out there tonight and the youngsters will take a lot.

“We made a couple of good breaks in the first half and we were one pass away on a couple of occasions from getting a few scores and the game could have been a lot closer.

“I felt for big parts of the second half we have dominated and I’m really pleased with the way the youngsters grew when they could have folded. They didn’t and in the end they came out and gave a good account of themselves.”

Wales duo settle in

Wales international duo Rob Evans and Rhodri Jones are settling into Dragons life well, having signed for the club from Scarlets and Ospreys respectively.

Evans sat out Friday night's friendly against Wasps after a cheekbone injury against Bristol but the Wales loosehead, a summer arrival from the Scarlets, is set to be fit for the United Rugby Championship opener against Edinburgh on September 17. Jones, meanwhile, started the outing against Wasps on Friday night.

"Really pleased [with Rob]," director of rugby Ryan said ahead of the match. "He was disappointed to come off last week. Anybody going to a new club wants to make a big impression.

"Both him and Rhodri [Jones] were recruited for an area that we've struggled a little bit in having enough quality and experience in that front row position. We've been really pleased with both their input across training weeks and also, limited for Rob, but for Rhodri his impact in the game. Really pleased for both of them."

Worcester players being paid

Worcester's owners have told players and staff the banking issue that resulted in the delay to their August wages being paid has now been resolved.

A number of squad members have issued the club with breach of contract notices after the money due into their accounts on Wednesday failed to materialise as promised.

Highly rated back row Kyle Hatherell is among those wanting to leave and the PA news agency understands that Leicester and Saracens are now competing with La Rochelle for the South African-born 27-year-old.

The extent of the problems caused by debts that are thought to exceed £25million was revealed during a co-ordinated social media campaign on Friday in which 20-year-old scrum-half Ollie Wynn revealed he had been made homeless and was staying with a senior player.

But in an internal memo issued to staff by co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring, who are in advanced talks with two potential buyers, it was stated that salaries were now being paid.

"This situation must be stressful for you all, we sorry we are in this boat and we've done everything we can do avoid it, all we can do now is deal with what's in front of us," the memo read.

"Regarding the payroll situation, the bank have finally confirmed the issue has been resolved and we can process the rest of the player and staff salary payments, some having already gone through.

"There are over 150 payments and each one takes around 10 minutes, the bank are having to constantly watch and approve each one to prevent the blocking IT issue that keeps recurring.

"Those payments have already started going through but we can't guarantee every payment will clear in your account tonight (Friday), but they are finally going out our side.

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