Home SPORTS Six Nations 2024: Scarlets’ Wales flanker Plumtree set to miss tournament start

Six Nations 2024: Scarlets’ Wales flanker Plumtree set to miss tournament start

Taine Plumtree arrived at Scarlets from Auckland-based Super Rugby team Blues

Wales back row Taine Plumtree is set to miss at least the start of the Six Nations after Scarlets coach Dwayne Peel revealed he is likely to need surgery.

Plumtree, 23, suffered a shoulder issue in their United Rugby Championship (URC) loss to Lions earlier this month.

Peel says he will be out for “months”, although no exact time was given.

“He is not going to be fit for a while and likely to need surgery on his shoulder,” said Peel.

Wales open their Six Nations campaign against Scotland on Saturday, 3 February in Cardiff. Scarlets have seven games before that with three URC matches and four more in Europe’s Challenge Cup.

Plumtree had initially picked up a shoulder injury in Wales’ World Cup warm-up match against England in August, which effectively ruled him out of the tournament.

He has won two caps and was part of the Wales squad that defeated Barbarians in an uncapped fixture in early November after the World Cup, coming on as a second-half replacement for Dan Lydiate.

Head coach Warren Gatland is searching for a big blind-side flanker as he assesses his back-row options.

Exeter and Wales flanker Christ Tshiunza, who played at lock during the World Cup in France, will be out until the new year with a broken foot.

Number eight Taulupe Pallets is not expected back until at least early January after suffering a broken arm during the World Cup win against Georgia in early October.

Uncapped number eight Morgan Morris has been in impressive form for Ospreys again this season.

Plumtree has scored four tries in five matches for Scarlets since arriving from New Zealand.

He was born in Swansea while his father John was still coaching the All Whites and announced his return to Wales in late June 2023.

Plumtree immediately linked up with Warren Gatland’s Wales training squad and featured in two warm-up internationals and the win against Barbarians.

“He has been good for us,” said Peel.

“He is a good athlete, there are areas of his game that need to be refined and he knows that.

“He is prepared to work, he is a good character within the group and been a good fit for us and Wales where you are going to have a player in a year or so who will be very competitive.”

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