[icWales] WALES coach Steve Hansen last night exploded with anger at Llanelli after star fly-half Stephen Jones was ruled out of the start of the Six Nations - and may miss the entire tournament.
Hansen sparked off a major club versus country rumpus by accusing the Scarlets of putting themselves ahead of Wales.
Hansen felt Jones, who broke his thumb during Tuesday's 39-26 win over Cardiff, should not have played in the match.
The news about his No 10 points machine follows hot on the heels of Hansen's loss of Robin McBryde, amid suggestions foot surgery had been put off to enable the Lions hooker to play in European games against Bourgoin and Glasgow.
It increased the war of words between the WRU and Llanelli, who are already at loggerheads over David Moffett's provincial plan.
Scarcely able to conceal his anger at the Scarlets, Hansen said, "We have lost two of our key personnel in Stephen and Robin. It's a big blow when it is really unnecessary."
Insisting Llanelli have put club interests before Wales' Six Nations cause, Hansen went on, "Some-where down the line we have got to put the country first.
"Too many people are thinking of themselves rather than Wales."
Hansen warned he intends to prevent Llanelli's Wales squad members playing at Pontypool in the Principality Cup on Saturday.
They had refused to rule out picking their current internationals.
Wales have a training session that day and Hansen said, "We don't want those players to play.
Every other club has totally supported us in the job, apart from Llanelli.
"I don't see how we can afford to do anything else than take this course of action. We have been very, very giving this season to the clubs, sharing our ideas as much as possible with them. The time has come when we are asking them to give a little bit back."
The news about Jones comes as Hansen faces up to losing ten players for the opening game in Italy.
As well as Jones and McBryde, also definitely out injured are centres Sonny Parker and Andy Marinos, No 10 Neil Jenkins, wing Dafydd James and hookers Andrew Lewis and Barry Williams.
Doubtful for the match, too, are Cardiff centre Jamie Robinson, who has injured a hip, and Llanelli prop Martyn Madden with a damaged shoulder.
Hansen said, "It is disappointing and frustrating for me that we are fighting among ourselves.
"These are things which should not be issues and we are wasting a lot of energy on stuff no-one should have to worry about."
He warned, "If we want to have a decent game called rugby in Wales, we have to makes changes. Everybody is thinking about today, not tomorrow."
Jones' absence leaves the door open for Iestyn Harris to forge an international reputation in the key play-maker's role at outside-half.
Hansen admitted it might be the
"lucky break" the former rugby league star required as he adapts to union.
Harris is expected to start in Italy with uncapped Pontypridd find Ceri Sweeney as replacement.
"Iestyn can take a bigger role. There is an opportunity for him and Ceri to go for it," said Hansen.
Asked about Wales' mounting injury woes, the coach said, "That's rugby - we have just got to get on with it."
Llanelli director of rugby Gareth Jenkins denied the Scarlets had put club before country and jeopardised Jones's Six Nations.
Jenkins said, "We've had a good opportunity to discuss things with Steve Hansen and it's now clear we understand where each party is coming from.
"We both have major difficulties with the fixtures and it's very difficult for Steve with little over a week to go before the first Six Nations international.
"We are both victims of a rugby calendar that's messed up.
"This has been a big blow for Wales and a big blow to Stephen himself."
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Ponty ar ben eu digon - pencampwyr dwbwl Cymru. Pwy oedd yn serennu yn y gem fawr yn erbyn Llanelli? Ponty on top of the world - double champions of Welsh rugby. Who starred in the big win over Llanelli?