Rugby

Injured Wales flanker James Botham released from Six Nations squad

Cardiff flanker suffered a knee injury against Scotland.

James Botham has been released from Wales’ Six Nations squad due to a knee injury
James Botham in action for Wales James Botham has been released from Wales’ Six Nations squad due to a knee injury (David Davies/PA)

Flanker James Botham has been released from Wales’ Guinness Six Nations squad due to a knee injury.

The Welsh Rugby Union said that Botham, who is the grandson of England cricket great Sir Ian Botham, was hurt during Saturday’s 27-26 defeat against Scotland.

Cardiff forward Seb Davies has been called into the squad, while experienced Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis has also been summoned by Wales head coach Warren Gatland ahead of next Saturday’s Twickenham appointment with England.

The WRU said: “James Botham (Cardiff Rugby) has been released from the squad due to a knee injury picked up during Wales’ 26-27 defeat to Scotland on Saturday.

“He will continue his rehabilitation back at his club.”

Botham scored Wales’ opening try during a thrilling second half against the Scots that saw them fight back to within a point after trailing 27-0.

His Cardiff team-mate Alex Mann, who also touched down, replaced him on his Test debut and now looks a likely starter against England.

Botham’s problem is another back-row injury blow for Gatland, with World Cup co-captain Jac Morgan and 104 times-capped number eight Taulupe Faletau out of the tournament.

Lewis, who has won 54 caps, was a surprise omission from Gatland’s original Six Nations squad.

And he now becomes the fourth tighthead in the group, joining Leon Brown, who started against Scotland but went off at half-time due to an injury, Keiron Assiratti and uncapped Bath forward Archie Griffin.