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Bath not happy with RFU

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Bath are not entirely happy with the RFU over Joe Cokanasiga

Bath Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper has suggested the club are not entirely happy over how the injury to winger Joe Cokanasiga was handled by the RFU.

Cokanasiga started against the USA in the Rugby World Cup but was not in the match-day 23 against Tonga, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

Despite his lack of game time he has been sent back to Bath with a considerable knee injury.

Earlier this week Bath said in a loaded statement that Joe Cokanasiga “had returned from England’s World Cup campaign with a knee injury that will result in him being unable to begin a competitive campaign for the club”.

“In order to provide Joe the best possible management plan and rehabilitation process, Bath Rugby’s Medical Department are enlisting the services of world-leading specialists to ensure expert opinion is considered to deliver an optimal pathway to recovery. The Club’s priority is to maximise his chances to perform at the very highest level.”

Hooper himself stated: “Joe is a phenomenal talent and a powerful athlete, and we must manage him very carefully in the coming months to allow for the issues he has come back from Japan with to begin to be resolved.”

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The DoR has now gone further, suggesting the extent of Cokansiga’s injury when he returned was more serious than they had feared.

Joe Evely for Sommerset Live reports that Hooper said following their European Champions Cup loss to Harlequins that: “We were talking to the guys out there but we get limited information from them and we obviously weren’t out in Japan, we were back in Bath dealing with our squad and the information they give us.

“We have been kept on top of where Joe is at but what we saw when he got back was a bit different.

“Ultimately Joe has come back to us unable to train, unable to be part of our programme. From that point now is when we started working out exactly what is wrong with him, what the history of the injury is and then how we move forward.

Bath have a history of receiving injured players back from England camp, with owner Bruce Craig infamously criticising Eddie Jones’ treatment of his club personnel in 2018.

“The level of injuries in these training camps is totally unacceptable. What is going on in the camp?,” Craig told The Times. “There is obviously an issue because of the number of injuries. There has got to be significant questions asked about duty of care.

“At Bath, we’re not having cruciate ligament injuries in training. I am unsure of whether the players are not being taken to levels that are unacceptable.”

“At Bath, we’re not having cruciate ligament injuries in training. I am unsure of whether the players are not being taken to levels that are unacceptable.”

“These are totally unacceptable injuries,” Craig said, “and it is the nature of them too, these are serious long-term injuries.”

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Bath are not entirely happy with the RFU over Joe Cokanasiga