Wales captain Gareth Bale was concerned he could have contracted coronavirus after discovering two Republic of Ireland players tested positive following their clash on Sunday.

Bale's Tottenham team-mate Matt Doherty and Stoke winger James McClean returned positive COVID-19 tests after a 1-0 Nations League win for Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Doherty, who will now miss Spurs’ huge Premier League game at home to Manchester City on Saturday, had an embrace with Bale after the full-time whistle, while the pair reportedly swapped shirts when they talked after leaving the pitch.

No Wales players have tested positive ahead of their match against Finland on Wednesday, but Bale admitted he was worried the virus may have been passed on ahead of a key period of games.

Asked about his contact with Doherty, on-loan Spurs forward Bale said: "It's a slight concern for everyone when you have been playing someone [who has tested positive] and in close contact on the field, but maybe not long enough to catch it.

"Obviously you’re a bit wary, but it is good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.

"Me and Ben Davies [Wales and Spurs defender] spoke to him [Doherty] briefly and I think he is doing fine, he’s got mild symptoms.

"Hopefully he recovers fine, doesn't have any problems and will be back playing as soon as possible."

Bale says the Football Association of Wales deserves great credit for the protocols it has put in place.

He said: "There's only three or four to a table, making sure we are socially distanced, going at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.

"They have gone to great measures to make sure we are safe. It is important to take it seriously."

Wales captain Gareth Bale was concerned he could have contracted coronavirus after discovering two Republic of Ireland players tested positive following their clash on Sunday.

Bale's Tottenham team-mate Matt Doherty and Stoke winger James McClean returned positive COVID-19 tests after a 1-0 Nations League win for Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

No Wales players have tested positive ahead of their match against Finland on Wednesday, but Bale admitted he was worried the virus may have been passed on.

"It's a slight concern for everyone when you have been playing someone [who has tested positive] and in close contact on the field, but maybe not long enough to catch it," said the on-loan Spurs forward.

"Obviously you’re a bit wary, but it is good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.

"Me and Ben Davies [Wales and Spurs defender] spoke to him [Doherty] briefly and I think he is doing fine, he’s got mild symptoms."

Bale says the Football Association of Wales deserves great credit for the protocols it has put in place.

He said: "There's only three or four to a table, making sure we are socially distanced, going at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.

"They have gone to great measures to make sure we are safe. It is important to take it seriously."

Wales suffered a sixth straight Test defeat as Ireland ran out 32-9 winners in the opening Autumn Nations Cup clash in Dublin on Friday, piling more pressure on Wayne Pivac. 

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was forced off with a hamstring problem during the first half as the new tournament got under way, yet the hosts still had little trouble in claiming a comfortable victory. 

Sexton kicked two penalties and converted Quinn Roux's try before going off, with Billy Burns' boot then giving Ireland a 16-6 lead at the break. 

Leigh Halfpenny hit his third penalty of the match to lift Wales to nine points soon after the break, but further penalties from Burns and Conor Murray put Ireland well in control before debutant James Lowe wrapped up the win. 

It leaves Wales coach Pivac under increasing scrutiny, with the 2019 World Cup semi-finalists having failed to come close to the performances achieved under Warren Gatland. 

Wales have the chance to respond when they host Georgia next week, while Ireland take on Six Nations champions England at Twickenham.

Wales were held to a home stalemate by the United States on Thursday in the absence of head coach Ryan Giggs.

Giggs agreed to step aside for Wales' three November fixtures after his recent arrest following an assault allegation, which he denies, and stand-in boss Robert Page oversaw a 0-0 draw.

A youthful USA were the brighter of the sides in the first half without managing to test Danny Ward, before Wales - without Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale in their squad - improved in the second period but could find no way through in a low-key friendly at the Liberty Stadium.

Tom Lawrence was among nine changes to Wales' starting line-up following last month's late win in Bulgaria and he tested Zack Steffen with the first shot 32 minutes in.

However, Barcelona teenager Konrad de la Fuente, one of USA's three debutants, wasted the only notable chance of the first half when pouncing on Dylan Levitt's backpass and blazing over.

Both sides used the second half to introduce more debutants and Brennan Johnson nearly marked his maiden cap in style, only denied a goal by Zack Steffen's low save just 37 seconds after coming on.

While Wales have made a habit of scoring late goals in recent game, the best of the remaining openings in Swansea fell the way of USA substitute Ulysses Llanez, who had a low shot pushed around the post by Ward.

Christian Pulisic has returned to Chelsea after withdrawing from the United States squad for their upcoming friendlies against Wales and Panama.

The 22-year-old linked up with his national side despite not playing for Chelsea since October 28 because of a hamstring injury sustained ahead of the Premier League clash with Burnley.

However, Pulisic has been deemed unfit to play against Wales in Swansea on Thursday and Panama in Austria next Monday, however, and has now dropped out of the squad.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference on Wednesday, United States head coach Gregg Berhalter said: "Christian is a big part of our group. 

"He has been working through an injury, but he really says a lot that he wanted to come into camp, be around the guys and continue to be a leader with this team."  

Pulisic had featured five times for Chelsea in all competitions this term before suffering his latest injury setback and scored in his most recent match, a 4-0 Champions League win over Krasnodar.

He has yet to get off the mark in terms in three Premier League outings this term and has created only once chance from open play.

Asked if Pulisic will be available for Chelsea's trip to Newcastle United on November 21, Berhalter said: "It is hard to speculate."

USA have triumphed in their last three games by an aggregate score of 9-1 but last won a match against one of England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland in May 2012, beating the latter 5-1.

Jose Mourinho is concerned Gareth Bale's best interests may not be looked after while he is on international duty with an Arsenal coach on the Wales coaching staff.

Bale was this week recalled for Wales' upcoming clashes with the United States, Republic of Ireland and Finland after missing their October matches due to a knee injury.

Mourinho has eased Bale back into action following his loan move from Real Madrid to Tottenham as the forward builds his fitness up after spending so long on the sidelines.

Robert Page has stepped in to take charge of Wales after the arrest of Ryan Giggs, who denies any wrongdoing, following an allegation of assault.

Page will be assisted by Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg, which Spurs boss Mourinho is not comfortable about.

Asked about Bale's fitness, Mourinho said: "I think he's getting better and better. I felt that he could play 90 minutes [in a Europa League win over Ludogorets on Thursday] but it's not about can or cannot, it's about managing the situation and keeping him safe.

"He's player that needs to be safe, he's a player that had enough problems in the past. He is working so much and we all are working so much and so carefully with him that we don't want to destroy the work that everybody has been doing for the past couple of months.

"Of course Wales have two matches where they play in the Nations League and I expect him to play, but if they care as much about him as they say they do, they have to manage the recovery periods, manage how many days between one match and another, manage the minutes he plays and they should not let him get into fatigue levels.

"I don't think, from what I'm reading, it will not be Giggs responsible for these matches and I'm sorry about that because in the previous fixtures, he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies – not Gareth, because Gareth was not there – and we shared opinions on the situation which is probably not going to happen this time.

"The fact that one of their coaches is an Arsenal coach, doesn't make me very comfortable. Honestly, it doesn't make me very comfortable. I think national teams should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches that work for other clubs."

Giovanni Reyna, Chris Richards and Konrad de la Fuente have been called up by the United States for the first time.

USA boss Gregg Berhalter on Tuesday named a 24-man squad for this month's friendlies against Wales and Panama consisting solely of players based abroad as MLS gears up for the playoffs.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reyna, Bayern Munich defender Richards and Barcelona youngster De la Fuente were among 10 uncapped players in the group, which has an average age of just 21 years and 300 days, and only six players with more than 17 caps.

Berhalter said: "We are excited about getting this group back together. I'm proud of the way the players have handled the challenging times – they really stuck together.

"We have built a solid foundation, and now we get a chance to continue our work together ahead of what is going to be a critical 12 months for our team."

Reyna has two goals and four assists – three of which came in a 4-0 win over Freiburg last month – in nine appearances in all competitions for Dortmund this season. He will be hoping to become the 12th player to earn a USA cap before turning 18 years old.

Richards, 18, has featured three times for Bayern in all competitions and set up Robert Lewandowski's second goal in the 4-3 triumph over Hertha Berlin on October 4.

De la Fuente is yet to make his first senior appearance for Barcelona but the 19-year-old has been named on the bench for three LaLiga matches this season.

The USA will take on Wales in Swansea on November 12 before travelling to Austria for a meeting with Panama.

England youth international Yunus Musah, 17, has also been handed a chance to take his first steps in the senior arena by Berhalter.

United States squad:

Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, Chituru Odunze (Leicester City), Zack Steffen (Manchester City); John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Antonee Robinson (Fulham); Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Richard Ledezma (PSV), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Owen Otasowie (Wolves); Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Uly Llanez (Heerenveen), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Sebastian Soto (Telstar), Timothy Weah (Lille).

Ryan Giggs will not have any involvement in Wales' three November matches after the manager was arrested following an assault allegation.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said Giggs, who denies any wrongdoing, agreed to step aside temporarily and allow Robert Page to take charge of the team.

Police were called on Sunday evening to an address in Worsley, Salford following reports of a disturbance. A 46-year-old man was arrested and then released on bail pending further inquiries.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said a woman aged in her 30s had sustained "minor injuries".

Giggs "denies all allegations of assault made against him", said a representative of the former Manchester United star.

In a statement, the FAW said: "The Football Association of Wales and Ryan Giggs have mutually agreed that he will not be involved in the upcoming international camp.

"Our agreed immediate priority is preparing the team for the upcoming international matches.

"Robert Page, with Ryan’s support, will take charge for the next three matches against the USA, Republic of Ireland and Finland supported by Albert Stuivenberg."

The FAW cancelled a scheduled news conference and squad announcement that was set for Tuesday, before announcing Giggs would not be part of Wales' plans for the home games against the United States on November 12, the Republic of Ireland three days later and Finland on November 18.

The USA game is a friendly, with the others both Nations League fixtures, and the FAW said the delayed squad announcement would now come on Thursday.

Giggs is approaching three years in charge of the Wales team, having been appointed in January 2018 as successor to Chris Coleman.

Ryan Giggs has denied allegations of assault and is assisting police with ongoing investigations after being arrested on Sunday. 

Police were called to an address in Worsley, Salford following reports of a disturbance. A 46-year-old man was arrested and then released on bail pending further inquiries. 

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "Police were called at 10.05pm on Sunday to reports of a disturbance. 

"A woman in her 30s sustained minor injuries but did not require any treatment. 

"A 46-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault and section 39 common assault." 

A representative for Giggs, who spent his entire playing career with Manchester United and is now in charge of Wales' national team, released a statement that read: "Mr Giggs denies all allegations of assault made against him. He is cooperating with the police and will continue to assist them with their ongoing investigations." 

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) cancelled a scheduled news conference set for Tuesday when Giggs was due to name his squad for upcoming games against the United States, the Republic of Ireland and Finland during the November international break. 

An FAW statement read: "The FAW is aware of an alleged incident involving the national team manager, Ryan Giggs. 

"The FAW will be making no further comment at this current time." 

Giggs won 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice during a hugely successful career with United before announcing his retirement in May 2014.

He was named Wales manager in January 2018, taking over the job following the departure of Chris Coleman.

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg described Wales counterpart Alun Wyn Jones as an "absolute legend" after his record-setting Test appearance on Saturday. 

Jones surpassed Richie McCaw's tally in Wales' final Six Nations match of the 2020 championship as he played in his 149th Test, though he could not inspire Wayne Pivac's side to victory. 

Rhys Carre went over for Wales' only try, but Stuart McInally's score and a late penalty from Hogg secured an 14-10 win for Scotland at Parc y Scarlets – their first triumph on Welsh soil in a Six Nations match since 2002. 

Though the shine was taken off Jones' milestone by the result, Hogg was full of praise for his British and Irish Lions team-mate. 

"Absolute legend," Hogg said of Jones in an interview with BBC Sport. "He's been an absolute legend for Wales over the years, and the Lions, 149 Tests is incredible and the best thing about him is that he's a great bloke and fully deserves everything he's going to get. 

"Hopefully we can catch up and get a beer afterwards." 

Hogg, who had to move to fly-half following injuries to Finn Russell and Adam Hastings, said of the win: "I'm absolutely delighted with it, 18 years since we last won here.  

"We knew we could come down here and put in a performance and hopefully get a win, chuffed to bits with that. 

"Look at this year, we've had to adapt and overcome a lot of things. It's been a long time since I’ve been at number 10 but I absolutely loved it. The boys made my job easy towards the end. Delighted with it, we'll enjoy this one." 

Jones, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a bittersweet moment on his landmark cap. 

"Congratulations to Scotland. I think the way they ground out the win in the last 10 minutes was a credit to the brand and the game they've developed," Jones told BBC Sport. 

"It was tight throughout, unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the result today. 

"Obviously you can say we've had a long period in between the last Six Nations match and this one, but there’s no excuse. I thought we were better in patches today, but it got away from us and it’s not good enough. 

"In the grand scheme, today we didn't achieve much. Obviously credit to the people I've played with, past and present." 

Wales will finish fifth in the Six Nations standings, having lost their last four matches in the championship.

Scotland spoiled Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones' world record 149th Test appearance by ending their Six Nations campaign with a 14-10 victory on Saturday.

The inspirational Jones surpassed Richie McCaw's tally at Parc y Scarlets, but he was unable to mark the occasion with a win.

Rhys Carre scored the game's opening try for Wales when he wriggled through between the posts in the first half, with Scotland just a point behind at the break following penalties from Finn Russell and Adam Hastings.

Yet poor discipline in the scrum cost the 2019 Grand Slam winners, aa Stuart McInally pounced to score Scotland's only try and Stuart Hogg landed another penalty from the last kick of the game to seal Scotland's first Six Nations win in Wales since 2002.

Leigh Halfpenny's penalty with 15 minutes to go had set up a tense finale, but Wales finished second bottom of the table after a fourth loss in five Six Nations matches.

Scotland hit the front inside 10 minutes, as Russell converted after Ryan Elias was penalised for offside.

Chris Harris should have taken in Hogg's pass in the 20th minute, but a fumble from Scotland's number 13 allowed Dan Biggar to intervene.

Scotland were made to pay just after the half-hour. With the wind causing havoc at lineouts, Elias nipped in to steal possession, and Carre bundled his way over under the sticks – Biggar adding the extras.

An injury to Russell compounded Scotland's frustration, though a penalty from his replacement Hastings reduced the deficit to one point at the break.

A collapsing Wales scrum gave Scotland a golden opportunity with 20 minutes remaining and Gregor Townsend's side swiftly capitalised – McInally grounding on the back of a driving maul.

Hastings' failed conversion handed Wales a reprieve, with Halfpenny kicking them to within a point, but Hogg put the icing on the cake right at the end as Scotland won a third successive Six Nations match for the first time since 1996

Work to do for Pivac

Wales have now lost their last five matches, including three at the start of the Six Nations earlier in the year, and their defeat to France last time out.

The 2019 World Cup semi-finalists put in a disappointing defence of their title and having replaced Warren Gatland, Wayne Pivac will be searching for some much-improved displays from his side in the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup.

Russell's comeback ends early

Fly-half Russell missed the Six Nations games in February and March due to a breach of team protocol, but was recalled to Scotland's squad for this match and the Autumn Nations Cup.

However, his comeback lasted just 32 minutes, with Russell sustaining in an injury while trying to prevent Carre's try, and Scotland will be hoping he is fit to return in two weeks' time.

What's next?

Scotland are set to face Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup on November 14, a day after Wales go up against Ireland.

Alun Wyn Jones will become the most capped player in Test history on Saturday and the legendary Wales captain's record against Scotland suggests he will be celebrating with a win.

Jones will break new ground at Parc y Scarlets when he wins a 149th international cap, surpassing New Zealand great Richie McCaw's tally.

The talismanic lock's appearance on the final day of the Six Nations will be his 140th for Wales and he has played nine times for the British and Irish Lions in a stellar career.

A fierce competitor and inspirational leader, the 35-year-old made his Wales debut against Argentina in June and has gone on to become one of the all-time greats.

With the use of Opta data, we reflect on Jones' Test career so far as he prepares to break the world record on home soil.

 

TAKING ON ALL COMERS

The towering back-row has faced 18 different countries over the years and beaten them all at least once.

He has more Test wins over Scotland than any other country, which bodes well for this weekend, with 10 triumphs in 12 contests.

England are the opponents Jones has faced the most, starting all 21 times against the Red Rose – losing 12 and winning nine.

He does not have fond memories of New Zealand, beating the All Blacks just once in 15 Tests.

 

LIONS LINCHPIN 

His Lions selections over the last 11 years are all the evidence you need of Jones' incredible durability and consistency.

He has played all nine Lions Tests since 2009, starting seven and coming off the bench twice. No other player has featured in more than six in that time.

Jones stepped in to captain the side in the series-clinching victory over Australia in 2013 and started all three Tests in the drawn series with New Zealand three years ago.

He will be hoping to get the nod for a fourth tour under Warren Gatland next year, when the Lions are due to face South Africa 12 years after Jones was selected for the representational side to travel to the same country.

 

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Sam Warburton is the only player to have captained Wales more often than Jones.

Ospreys great Jones has been skipper on 37 occasions, with Warburton leading his country 49 times before retiring two years ago.

Ryan Jones (33) is third on the list, with Ieuan Evans (28) and Colin Charvis (22) making up the top five.

 

A KEY TO GATLAND'S SUCCESS

Gatland was a great success in his 12-year reign as Wales head coach and Jones played a big hand in that.

He made 116 appearances during the New Zealander's long tenure, winning 62 of those matches.

Wales won four Six Nations titles and three Grand Slams with Gatland at the helm and Jones was the only player to make 100 or more appearances during his time in charge.

The battle for the Six Nations title is finally set to come to a thrilling climax on Saturday.

Ireland have their fate in their own hands after they hammered Italy last weekend in the only round four match that could not take place before the tournament was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

If Andy Farrell's side secure a bonus-point win over France in the final match of the competition in Paris they will get their hands on the trophy, but Les Bleus are also in contention.

England are the favourites to be crowned champions, as they trail leaders Ireland by only a point and will be expected to seal a bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome.

Scotland and Wales, who sit fourth and fifth respectively, end their campaigns with a clash at Parc y Scarlets.

Ahead of what promises to be a tense finale to the tournament, we use Opta data to preview the three matches.

 

Wales v Scotland

- Wales have won 14 of their last 16 Six Nations games against Scotland (L2), including their last eight in a row on home soil, with Scotland's only victory in Wales in the championship coming in 2002.

- Scotland come into the match having won back-to-back games in the Six Nations. They have not won three in a row in the Five/Six Nations since 1996 - when they beat Ireland, France and Wales in succession.

- Wales have lost their last three Six Nations games, their worst run in the championship since a five-game losing streak spanning the 2006 and 2007 editions.

- Scotland's Stuart Hogg has carried the ball for 377 metres in this Six Nations, more than any other player. No player has made more metres over the gain line than Hogg - with Jacob Stockdale also making 305m.

Italy v England

- England have won all of their 26 matches against Italy, 20 of those coming in the Six Nations. The Red Rose are the only side the Italians have failed to beat since joining the championship in 2000.

- Italy have lost 26 consecutive games in the Six Nations since beating Scotland in 2015, the longest losing run by any side in history of the tournament. Only twice during that run have they been beaten by a single-figure margin (v France 2016, v Scotland 2018).

- England have scored four or more tries in each of their last six Six Nations matches against Italy, with an average winning margin of 33 points across those six victories.

- After defeat to Ireland last weekend, Italy are assured of a 15th wooden spoon and a fifth in a row.

France v Ireland

- France have won just one of their last eight games against Ireland in the Six Nations (D2, L5). They had won seven of their previous eight clashes in the championship before that run (L1).

- The last four Six Nations meetings between France and Ireland in Paris have seen the sides separated by fewer than three points (France W1, Ireland W2, D1).

- France have won their last three home games in the Six Nations, their best run since 2013-14 (W3). The last time they enjoyed a longer winning streak on home soil in the competition was a nine-game run stretching from 2008 to 2012.

- Les Bleus are yet to lose a scrum in the 2020 Six Nations, winning all 14 on their own feed, the only side with a 100 per cent success rate at that set-piece.

Legendary Wales wing JJ Williams has died at the age of 72.

Williams was a star wing of the Wales sides of the 1970s, scoring 12 tries in 30 Tests between 1973 and 1979.

A sprinter who competed at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he was then part of the Welsh sides that won four Five Nations titles, including two Grand Slams.

Williams also made seven Test appearances for the Lions in tours to South Africa in 1974 and New Zealand in 1977.

During the former, he scored two tries in as many Tests against the Springboks and a record-equalling six in a 97-0 rout of South West Districts.

The clinical flyer sits third on the all-time list of Lions try-scorers with 22 in 26 games.

Williams leaves wife Jane and children Kathryn, James and Rhys, the former European champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the 400metre hurdles.

Wales players will wear black armbands in Saturday's Six Nations match with Scotland in Llanelli, where Williams spent much of his club career.

Head coach Wayne Pivac said: "On behalf of the national squad, management and team, our thoughts and condolences go out to JJ's family and friends.

"It always is poignant when you have a player of that ilk passing away. We'll show our respects by wearing the black armbands."

Alun Wyn Jones is set to become the most-capped player in Test rugby when Wales conclude their Six Nations campaign against Scotland on Saturday.

Wales captain Jones will break the record set by New Zealand great Richie McCaw when he makes his 149th appearance at Parc y Scarlets this weekend.

The 35-year-old lock made his international debut in 2006 and has featured in 139 Tests for Wales and nine with the British and Irish Lions.

Head coach Wayne Pivac said: "It's a fantastic day for Alun Wyn, isn't it. What can you say? We don't have enough time to talk about the guy. Just a tremendous leader in this group, leads by example.

"When he speaks, everyone listens. He's always matter of fact, to the point. Just a fantastic guy to have in our environment and I'm so pleased he's going to be able to do that.

"He's had to wait longer than we anticipated with the summer tour [called] off, but certainly to do it in a Six Nations match will be special for him."

Jones will be joined in the second row against Wales by Will Rowlands, who was handed a first Wales start by Pivac as one of six changes that also saw debutant Shane Lewis-Hughes and Tomas Francis named among the forwards.

George North makes way for Liam Williams on the wing and drops out of the 23-man squad, while Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half due to Rhys Webb's injury and Owen Watkin returns at centre.

 

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Alun Wyn Jones, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Sam Parry, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Cory Hill, James Davies, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Patchell, Nick Tompkins.

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