The Daily Telegraph - Business

Odogwu knee injury is fresh blow to Wasps and England

- By Ben Coles

Paolo Odogwu will miss England’s Test matches this summer after Wasps revealed that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the defeat by Northampto­n last weekend and he will see a knee specialist tomorrow for assessment and management planning

A huge threat for Wasps either at outside centre or on the wing this season, Odogwu’s fine form led to him being called up by England ahead of the Six Nations. The 24-year-old, who also qualifies for Italy, was part of England’s squad throughout the tournament, but failed to win a Test cap and would have been in contention to end that wait for his England debut against the United States and Canada.

Odogwu returned for Wasps after the Six Nations and scored twice in six Premiershi­p appearance­s. He now becomes the third important Wasps player to sustain a serious knee injury this season, after England flanker Jack Willis and lock and club captain Joe Launchbury.

Odogwu said: “This is obviously a heartbreak­ing end to probably the best season of my life, but these things happen.”

Wasps will now be without Odogwu for their must-win fixture against London Irish on Saturday, with last season’s Premiershi­p finalists seeking to end a difficult campaign on a high by securing a top-eight finish to qualify for next season’s Champions Cup.

Wasps are eighth in the table but are set to be leapfrogge­d by Bath, following the cancellati­on of their weekend fixture against Gloucester, whose squad have been hit by an outbreak of Covid-19.

That would leave Wasps needing to take points from their final matches of the season against London Irish and Leicester Tigers to secure Champions Cup rugby.

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