HASKELL AND LAUNCHBURY INJURY UPDATE
Wasps boss Dai Young has quashed stories which emerged from the England camp earlier in the week regarding Joe Launchbury’s fitness.
It was reported that Young’s skipper would be sidelined by his calf injury for at least a month, causing him to miss his country’s Six Nations opener against France on February 4.
However, this was news to the black-and-gold’s director of rugby, who is counting down the influential lock’s absence in days rather than weeks.
“Launchers won’t be fit for this week, but we don’t see any reason why he won’t be fit to face Toulouse next week,” Young said. “He’s had a scan, and there is some bleeding in his calf, but no significant tear.
“We’re pretty confident he’ll be fit for Toulouse, and if he’s not we’re 100 per cent certain he’ll be back for Zebre, so I’m not sure where these doubts about him being fit for England next month have come from.”
Although Young is understandably reluctant to reveal too much of his hand to Leicester, it seems likely that another red rose forward, James Haskell, will play a part in Sunday’s clash.
The powerful flanker has been out of action since undergoing toe surgery after England’s series win over Australia in the summer, and his boss believes his return will provide a significant boost to Wasps’ Premiership and European prospects.
“Hask is fit and has come through training so far, and we’re hoping he’ll be able to have some involvement this week,” Young said.
“He has worked hard to get back, and if he gets back to playing how he was before his injury he will be a bonus for us and England. He’s always played really well for us and we all know what a good player he is. You don’t get the amount of caps he’s got by accident, or by luck - he’s a quality international rugby player.”
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