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Bath front row fitness boost

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Against all odds, Bath set for 19 stone piece of welcome injury news

Injuries have been taking Bath on a rollercoaster ride of late, with the good news of Taulupe Faletau’s recent return replaced by the frustration of seeing the Welsh international break his arm against Wasps on Saturday.

Faletau has been ruled out of the Six Nations as a result, but Bath are about to be buoyed by the return to fitness of one player they had not expected to see this season.

Beno Obano was set to miss most, if not all of the 2018/19 season with the damage to multiple knee ligaments that he suffered at the end of last season, whilst being part of an England training camp.

The loosehead’s rehabilitation has gone well, however, with the prop back in training now and RugbyPass understand that he is aiming for a February comeback. The home tie against Newcastle Falcons on February 16th, when the Gallagher Premiership resume after European and Premiership Cup breaks, is a possible date for his return, although a trip to Northampton Saints a week later or the home tie with Harlequins at the beginning of March could be more conservative targets.

Obano, 24, had been having an impressive 2017/18 season at club level with Bath, forcing his way into both the Six Nations and summer tour training camps with England, but any hopes he had of making his debut on the South Africa tour were dashed when he was forced to prematurely leave the Brighton training camp with “multiple ligament and hamstring tendon damage”.

Beno Obano

In Obano’s absence, Bath have leant heavily on Nathan Catt, who is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, Jacques van Rooyen and Lucas Noguera Paz, whilst Exeter Chiefs loosehead Ben Moon has forced his way into contention with England.

Bath are set to welcome back England centre Jonathan Joseph this weekend against Toulouse, after the back was one of the club’s non-playing reserves against Wasps last Saturday, with Joe Cokanasiga still a few weeks away from action and Anthony Watson not expected to be seen anytime soon.

It was Obano’s injury at the end of last season that sparked the infamous war of words between Bath owner Bruce Craig, who criticised the training methods and intensity of England camps, and Eddie Jones, who responded by labelling Craig the “Donald Trump of rugby”.

Watch: Eddie Jones discusses his 35-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations.

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Against all odds, Bath set for 19 stone piece of welcome injury news