SIX NATIONS UPDATE
WINGER Anthony Watson has been ruled out for a period of three to four weeks by a hamstring problem.
The Bath flyer will miss the opening RBS 6 Nations clash with France at Twickenham next weekend but it is hoped he will be available to head coach Eddie Jones later in the tournament.
A medical assessment confirmed that Watson has a slight muscular strain to his hamstring which will require a rehabilitation period of between three and four weeks.
Watson will remain with England for his rehabilitation and Jones said: “It’s disappointing news for Anthony and for England, but we know he’ll rehab diligently to get himself right to go as soon as he can. We’re confident he’ll be in the mix later in the championship.”
Jones, meanwhile, would appear to be following US president Donald Trump’s lead when it comes to driving home a message.
“I just changed their mindsets, that’s all,” said the Australian. “My vision was that they should be more ‘English’, so I kept repeating the message in different ways. One day I put mustard on it, the next day I put tomato sauce on it – but it was basically the same message.
“Yes, like Trump. Trump’s clever, there’s no denying that. The mantra ‘Make America great again’ – he repeats and repeats it. Americans were pounded with that message. There’s no evidence he can; but he’s convinced them. He’s changed mindsets.” Exeter skills coach Ricky Pellow praised the performance of hat-trick hero Michele Campagnaro as Chiefs thrashed Wasps 52-5 at Sandy Park on Saturday afternoon.
Sam Simmonds, Mitch Lees, Shaun Malton, Lachie Turner and Stuart Townsend also touched down in the eight-try rout, with Joe Simmonds converting six.
But it was 23-year-old Campagnaro, likely to be included in the Italy side for next weekend’s Six Nations opener against Wales, who was the stand-out figure.
“It’s been a solid set of recent performances from Michele and, while we are sorry to temporarily lose him from our squad, he’ll be excited about bringing that form into the Six Nations to show what he can do,” Pellow said. Scrum-half Rhys Webb rated himself 100 per cent fit ahead of Wales’ Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on February 5.
The scrum-half played the first 40 minutes of Ospreys’ 20-14 AngloWelsh Cup win over Bristol at the Brewery Field on Saturday.
Webb gave Wales coach Rob Howley a major boost after the game, saying: “I’m 100 per cent fit. I feel good.”
Webb, who has recovered from an ankle injury, added: “I didn’t want to come off after 40 [minutes] but there are guidelines with the conditioning coaches. They know my body. I’m loving it.”
CHIEF: Eddie Jones.