Savage’s fitness battle
TOM Savage faces a battle to be fit for what would be his last game for Gloucester at Kingsholm.
The lock failed a late fitness test before Sunday’s derby against Worcester Warriors due to a calf problem and could miss out on the final home game of the season against bottom side Newcastle on Saturday before he moves on to join Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath in the summer.
Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann said: “I think it’s going to be 50-50, we’ll see.
“I doubt if he’s going to make it but it’s a bit of a downer for him because in the back of my mind I wanted to play him because it’s his last home game.
“At this moment if I had to guess it would be touch and go because of the injury.”
Former club captain Savage has made 192 appearances in eight years at Kingsholm, becoming a huge fans’ favourite after joining from Hartpury.
Despite falling down the pecking order this season with Ed Slater and South Africa international Franco Mostert forming a good partnership in the second row, Savage is held in high esteem by Ackermann.
“Tom to me can start any time,” said Ackermann. “He’s been so consistent over the last two seasons that I’ve been here, his performances, he’s just been unlucky not to play.
“He could easily have started on Sunday, he’s got all the qualities and the reality is sometimes it counted against him that I had two back rowers on the bench instead of a lock. It wasn’t his fault, it was just a selection choice.
“I feel because of the service he’s given the club he does deserve to start just to get that last Shed cheer.”
Ackermann still hopes to have prop Ruan Dreyer, lock Gerbrandt Grobler and backs Tom Marshall, Tom Hudson and Ollie Thorley back before the end of the season with Gloucester having at least three fixtures left including the play-off semi-final.
I doubt if he’s going to make it but it’s a bit of a downer for him because in the back of my mind I wanted to play him because it’s his last home game Johan Ackermann on Tom Savage