Wales will be without Liam Williams for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Ireland at the back looks set to be unavailable for side until the latter stages of the championship.

Williams has not played since suffering an ankle injury ahead of Wales' World Cup semi-final against South Africa last October.

"Liam's struggling a bit at the moment," said Wales defence coach Byron Hayward.

"It (Saturday's game against Ireland) is a little bit early for Liam. We are possibly looking at the fourth or fifth games in the Championship."

After Ireland, Wales host France on February 22 before their March 7 appointment with England at Twickenham.

They then tackle Scotland at home seven days later.

"But look at all the positives - the boys all worked well last weekend (against Italy)," Hayward added.

"Leigh Halfpenny had a great game last weekend at full-back, though it would be nice to get Liam back, obviously."

Centre Owen Watkin, scrum-half Gareth Davies and hooker Elliot Dee are all back in training following recent injuries. 

Wales will announce their team to face Ireland on Thursday. 

Follow Ireland v Wales (kick-off 2.15pm) on Saturday via our live blog on RTE.ie/Sport and the News Now app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head, Monday at 8pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.