FULL-BACK FUSSELL PLAYS ON WITH DISLOCATED SHOULDER AND COULD NOW FACE AT LEAST A MONTH OUT
Rhys Fussell could be out of action for at least a month after suffering a dislocated shoulder during Ashford Rugby Club’s 19-17 London 3 South East defeat at Horsham on Saturday. The Kinneys Field full-back, son of former club coach Dai, sustained the injury in the first half, but played on and finished the game, before a trip to hospital the following morning confirmed the full extent of the injury. Head coach Gregor Dougall said: “It popped in and out during the game, and to think he played almost the whole game like that is just incredible.” Dougall believes the two-point reverse in West Sussex was another learning experience for his young side, but praised them for recovering so well from a sluggish start. He added: “We spent two hours on the bus getting there, and the boys aren’t used to journeys like that. “We gave them the first 16 points, but the boys came back well, went one point ahead, creating loads of chances, and could have won it at the end.” Horsham’s final points came from what Dougall described as a “rather dubious” penalty award, only for Gary Croxton to miss a match-winning penalty at the death, but the coach admitted: “It shouldn’t have come down to one kick. We didn’t keep our standards for the first 30 minutes and suffered for it.” Meanwhile the Kent RFU were due to hold a disciplinary hearing last night (Wednesday), into the double sending-off of Ashford pair Jake Fletcher and James Fitzpatrick in the 22-8 win at Folkestone last month. Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty and Fletcher not guilty. Defeat at Horsham saw Ashford lose top spot to Thanet Wanderers who now head the table by a point. Ashford are without a league game this weekend but entertain Uckfield on Saturday, January 25.