Peel set to return
Wales head coach Warren Gatland looks set to name Sale scrum-half Dwayne Peel in his matchday 22 for the RBS 6 Nations showdown with France at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.
The Sale scrum-half, who has recovered from the groin injury that saw him miss Wales' clashes with England and Scotland, was called into Gatland's 34-man squad having proved his fitness by playing 80 minutes of the Sharks 19-10 Guinness Premiership defeat by Leeds over the weekend.
"It was important for us to see Dwayne come through 80 minutes of rugby," said Gatland. "But, once he proved his fitness, it's obvious that a player of his experience and talents would provide a welcome boost to any squad."
Peel's availability will come as a relief as Gareth Cooper has struggled in the starting role thus far in the championship.
Cooper's Cardiff Blues colleague Richie Rees impressed coming off the bench in the defeat at Twickenham and the dramatic victory over Scotland, and he appears to be the favourite to secure his first start for his country when Gatland names his side at 5pm on Monday.
British and Irish Lion Mike Phillips, who has been out since October due to an ankle ligament injury, made his return to competitive action on Sunday in Ospreys' Magners League win over Connacht. But he has not been called into Gatland's squad and looks set to have to wait for the games against Ireland and Italy on the final two weekends of the championship.
Gatland also has selection headaches in several other positions following the loss of hooker Gareth Williams and second row Alun-Wyn Jones to injury. Wales are also without flanker Andy Powell who was dropped from the squad after being charged with drink-driving.
Jonathan Thomas is tipped to move from the second row to take Powell's spot on the blindside flank with Luke Charteris, Deiniol Jones and Ian Gough battling it out to partner Bradley Davies at lock.
Davies will be named in the starting XV today, but his participation is far from certain following the death of his mother last week, with Gatland keen to give the 23-year-old as much time as he needs to recover from his loss.
Ospreys' Huw Bennett looks set to start at hooker with Ken Owens likely to be named among the replacements while prop Gethin Jenkins is ruled out with a calf injury so Paul James will keep his place on the loose-head side of the scrum.