Wales fly-half Costelow back training ahead of Ireland clash

Back training: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Wales;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Wales</a> fly-half Sam Costelow (C), pictured in action against Scotland, missed the Six Nations defeat by <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:England;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">England</a> with a neck injury (Adrian DENNIS)

Wales fly-half Sam Costelow has returned to training ahead of his side's Six Nations clash with title favourites Ireland.

The Scarlets stand-off missed last weekend's 16-14 defeat by England at Twickenham after being injured in the first half of Wales' dramatic tournament-opening 27-26 defeat by Scotland in Cardiff, a match where he was replaced by Ioan Lloyd.

But Costelow could now be in contention to face Ireland in Dublin when the Championship resumes on February 24 after a rest week.

"He (Costelow) is looking good and trained this morning," Wales head of physical performance Huw Bennett said Tuesday.

But prop Archie Griffin has been released from the Wales squad after suffering a knee injury while making his Test debut against England.

The 22-year-old will now continue his rehabilitation at English Premiership club Bath, with a squad replacement to be announced in due course.

Keiron Assiratti, Leon Brown and Dillon Lewis are the remaining tighthead props already in the Wales squad, although Brown damaged his shoulder in the Scotland match and did not feature against England.

Scarlets back Tom Rogers, meanwhile, will remain with the regional side, and won't join up with the national squad, after suffering a chest injury during the Llanelli-based team's European Challenge Cup win over Clermont Auvergne on January 13.

Wales, fresh from narrow but painful defeats in the opening two rounds, now face the daunting task of an away game against an Ireland side who have started their quest for back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams with bonus-point wins over France and Italy.

The Welsh have been without a Six Nations win in Dublin since 2012, a run that includes one draw and four defeats.

"Ireland are well up there at the minute in the way they are playing," said former Wales hooker Bennett. "They have got an established group physically and they haven't won 19 games out of 20 for no reason.

"We know the challenge that is coming up for us but every game for this group has been a challenge and a chance to prove themselves and it will be another opportunity."

He added: "I know it sounds pretty straightforward but give as few opportunities to the opposition as you can. You can't be giving away penalties and easy outs and I am sure that will be a big focus.

"I think it's playing for 80 minutes. If you switch off in an area of the game, you get penalised."