WALES coach Rob Howley says the ankle injury to "smart" Dragons captain Cory Hill is a blow to their attack in the bid for a Grand Slam, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 27-year-old will miss next Saturday's trip to Murrayfield to face Scotland and tournament finale against Ireland in Cardiff after limping off in the closing stages of the thrilling win against England.

The lock scored the key try in the 22-13 success at Principality Stadium when he finished off after a patient and intense 35-phase assault on the English line.

However, an ankle injury means that Hill will watch the remaining rounds from the sidelines with Adam Beard, Jake Ball and Seb Davies the remaining options as skipper Alun Wyn Jones' partner in the second row.

The Dragons forward has grown into an influential member of Warren Gatland's squad thanks to his work rate yet it's his attacking threat that assistant coach Howley will miss.

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"It's disappointing because the attacking line that Cory ran for the try was unbelievable and he is a key lineout caller for us," said the former scrum-half.

"Cory's lines are very smart, he offers us subtlety and x-factor, because on the ball he is able to tip-on and carry.

"That multi-skill set allows us to be an attacking team and that's the challenge for other players in his position, because he creates opportunities for other people as well as himself."

Wales have won on four of their last five Edinburgh visits and victory in the Scottish capital would leave the Six Nations title and Grand Slam at stake when they host Ireland seven days later.

However, the 29-13 loss in 2017, when Howley was holding the reins for Gatland in Lions year, will ensure there is no complacency.

"We have not got many good memories of what happened two years ago. They are very much etched in our memories," said the attack coach.

"We know how good Scotland can be. It is just making sure our mental preparation is right."

Wales have released prop Wyn Jones, hooker Ryan Elias, fly-half Rhys Patchell, wing Steff Evans and full-back Leigh Halfpenny for the Scarlets’ PRO14 clash with Munster and lock Seb Davies, scrum-half Tomos Williams and fly-half Jarrod Evans for Cardiff Blues’ encounter with the Southern Kings.

Dragons duo Hallam Amos and Leon Brown will face Ulster.

Meanwhile, forward Josh Navidi has signed a new contract with Cardiff Blues.

The 28-year-old has started all three Six Nations games and is looking good for a place at Japan 2019, even with Gatland having a wealth of back row options.

Navidi, who has made 169 appearances, said: "With the World Cup around the corner it was important to stay in Wales to ensure I'm eligible but I'm also very happy here and hopefully we can achieve like last year and keep pushing forward in the PRO14."