An update on squad availability ahead of Wasps

29 October 2021

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper provides a player availability update ahead of the Round 7 Gallagher Premiership fixture against Wasps. 

Close to 50% of the playing squad are currently unavailable due to injuries or international duty.

In response, the Blue, Black and Whites have adjusted their training programme to accommodate the reduced number of players on the field.

Charlie Ewels, Sam Underhill and Will Stuart are now with England preparing for the Autumn Internationals. The trio departed following last weekend’s match at The Stoop, a game that saw Beno Obano sustain an ACL rupture a week after his teammate Anthony Watson suffered the same heartbreak.

Round 6 also saw Jaco Coetzee and Joe Simpson experience concussion injuries with both players now going through the Graduated Return to Play process before being able to return to training. 

There is positive news for Tom de Glanville, who left the pitch at Harlequins following a collision which saw Joe Marler sin binned. The full-back has been named in the starting XV for Saturday’s game.

“Jaco and Joe’s head injuries called for an immediate removal from the field,” Hooper said.

“We will make sure we do the right thing for both of them and ensure they return when they are fit to do so.”

Ben Spencer has been part of team training in short intervals and isn’t far away from a return. This is a similar picture for Will Spencer who is running and soon to be back in full training. Taulupe Faletau, who sustained an ankle injury shortly after his return from the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, remains sidelined. The Number 8 isn’t far away from a return to training.

Tom Ellis, Ruaridh McConnochie and Tom Doughty are other short-term absentees.

In the medium-term, Cameron Redpath, Tian Schoeman and Ethan Staddon are back running and still very much midway through their rehabilitation. Joe Cokanasiga is steadily progressing through his programme following a pre-season injury against Cardiff Rugby. 

“A combination of the international calendar and injuries has meant we have worked with a significantly reduced squad this week,” Hooper said. 

“It is a challenge clubs across the Premiership, like Wasps last weekend, have had to experience and credit most go to our coaches for adapting and being agile with our training programme.

“Every week we put out the very best squad available to us that we believe has the opportunity to perform to their best and win against the opposition in front of us. We trust and believe in the players we have available to us and we are looking forward to the challenge of Wasps on Saturday.”


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