Wales dealt Charteris blow

Wales have suffered an injury blow ahead of Sunday's RBS 6 Nations Championship clash against England at Twickenham after lock Luke Charteris was ruled out with a neck problem.

The Welsh Rugby Union announced that Scarlets forward Jake Ball, who started against France last month as a late replacement for Alun-Wyn Jones, will step in for Charteris, with Andrew Coombs moving onto the bench.

The late loss of Perpignan forward Charteris is a blow for Wales, given his line-out expertise, but Ball impressed greatly when he made his first international start in the 27-6 victory over France.

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley said Charteris suffered the injury on Wednesday.

"Luke had a bit of a stinger with his neck on Wednesday in a scrummaging session," Howley told reporters at Wales' training base.

"He has come in today a little bit sore and we have taken the decision early to omit him.

"It is a great opportunity for Jake. I thought he was outstanding in the nuts and bolts of his game against France. He came through with flying colours."


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