Hughes set for swift return from dead leg to boost injury-ravaged Wasps

03 October 2017 04:54

Nathan Hughes has boosted Wasps and England by avoiding serious injury, with the number eight sustaining just a dead leg.

The 26-year-old could even be fit for Wasps' Aviva Premiership clash at Saracens on Sunday, having limped out of Saturday's 25-9 home loss to Bath.

England boss Eddie Jones will be relieved that Hughes has escaped a long-term problem, with Billy Vunipola ruled out of the November Tests with knee trouble.

Wasps rugby director Dai Young admitted his own solace at positive news on Hughes, especially amid an injury crisis that has sidelined some 15 frontline players at the Coventry club.

"When any player gets injured it's a real blow, but this season it seems to have gone from one player to the next," said Young.

"You become a bit philosophical about it really, but it's great that Nathan will be back quickly.

"We're sweating on his availability for this weekend as he recovers from a dead leg, but if he isn't right for Saracens he'll definitely be back for the next game.

"But when he went off at the weekend we missed his ball-carrying, we lacked his penetration.

"Nathan gives you that go-forward that can really make a difference, give you penetration and draw a defence tighter to create space out wide.

"Going into last weekend we had 14 players unavailable, we've lost another two but some could be back as well - so we're looking at about 15 missing this weekend.

"That's certainly as bad as I've known it here, we don't normally have any more than about five or six missing.

"I'm not having any sleepless nights about selection though - because we've got 24 guys to pick 23 from!"

Scrum-half Dan Robson and full-back Willie le Roux should be fit for Wasps' Saracens trip, with props Matt Mullan and Marty Moore also available again.

Paul Doran-Jones has had surgery on a knee cartilage problem though, with Brendan Macken also battling a dead leg.

Young confirmed Wasps will use injury dispensation rules to bolster their injury-ravaged squad, with a hooker, a flanker and a fly-half sought.

"The real problem for us is hooker, it's not feasible for Ashley Johnson and Tom Cruse to be on the field together for the next four months, because Tommy Taylor won't be back for a few more months," said Young.

"So we're definitely looking at a hooker and we definitely want to bring in a back-rower, and we're not far off securing a back-rower.

"And also we're looking for a 10, although that's proving more problematic in finding someone, but we've upped our search for a 10 as well."

Source: PA