Scare for Eng­land as Wat­son limps out of de­feat

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - RUGBY UNION By An­drew Baldock

ENG­LAND suf­fered an in­jury scare just three weeks be­fore the Six Na­tions when An­thony Wat­son limped out of Bath’s 25-19 Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup de­feat against Har­lequins.

Wat­son, one of Eng­land’s star per­form­ers at the World Cup in Ja­pan, went off nurs­ing a leg prob­lem 11 min­utes into the sec­ond­half.

The Bath full-back un­der­lined his frus­tra­tion in front of watch­ing Eng­land head coach Ed­die Jones by hurl­ing his gum-shield to the ground be­fore leav­ing the ac­tion.

Eng­land look like be­ing with­out in­jured Ex­eter cen­tre Henry Slade for the early Six Na­tions ac­tion, with the World Cup run­ners-up fac­ing France in a Paris opener on Fe­bru­ary 2.

Bath, mean­while, are star­ing at a first top-flight Euro­pean white­wash af­ter Quins won the Pool Three en­counter thanks to tries from flanker James Chisholm, wing Gabriel Ibitoye and num­ber eight Alex Dombrandt, while Brett Her­ron kicked two con­ver­sions and two penal­ties.

Bath man­aged three touch­downs of their own - hooker Jack Walker, wing Gabe Hamer-Webb and cen­tre Jack­son Wil­li­son the scor­ers - and Fred­die Burns added two con­ver­sions.

The west coun­try club have never lost all their pool games in a Euro­pean cam­paign, but a 16th sea­son of Euro­pean Cup rugby will of­fi­cially be their worst if they are top­pled by Ul­ster next Satur­day.

An­thony Wat­son

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