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Bath explain the Cokanasiga England absence, update Spencer injury

By Liam Heagney

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Despite scoring four tries in the two-game summer series, Joe Cokanasiga was a name marked absent from the 45-strong mini-camp training squad announced this week by England boss Eddie Jones and the winger’s club Bath have now explained his latest absence. They have also provided an update on scrum-half Ben Spencer, who lasted just 20 minutes of the new Premiership season opener at Sale last Saturday. 

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Blighted by injury since appearing in the September 2019 World Cup pool match versus the USA in Kobe, Jones was purring last July in advance of the long-awaited return of Cokanasiga to the England line-up.

Having chosen him in the No14 jersey for his first Test match in 22 months against the USA at Twickenham, Jones had purred: “He’s a good player. We have managed to get enough petrol in his tank, so he drives a Jaguar and he has got a full tank at the moment and is ready to go. 

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The latest episode of The Season, the documentary on Brisbane Boys College
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The latest episode of The Season, the documentary on Brisbane Boys College

He has had a difficult time with injuries which contribute to lack of fitness, lack of quality training time, lack of consistent playing time. He had some consistent game time at the end of the Premiership season and now he has had three weeks of really good training with us. He looks in fantastic conditioning. We have just got to get him to the petrol station to put the last little bit in and he will be ready to go Sunday.”

Cokanasiga was ready, scoring two first-half tries against the Eagles and he followed up that strike rate with another brace of tries six days later versus Canada. However, he has since missed the start of the new Premiership season with Bath, while Spencer, a sub in the 2019 World Cup final, is now also on the club’s casualty list.   

A medical bulletin update from Bath read: “Bath can confirm Joe Cokanasiga and Ben Spencer have suffered injuries which will see them sidelined for a period, but neither require surgery. Cokanasiga left the field in the friendly against Cardiff after damaging his knee while Spencer started the opening day of the season at Sale Sharks and injured his hamstring. Both players will work with the club’s expert Performance Department who will ensure they are given the best rehabilitation possible for the quickest and safest return to action.”

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“Our main priority is to give both players our full care and support,” added Bath boss Stuart Hooper. “We are bitterly disappointed for Joe after his recent history with injuries. He showcased exactly what he was about in the summer with England and we are confident our performance department will help him reach the highest level once again. Ben has been a key part of our side since his arrival at the club and he will give everything to his rehabilitation just as he does with his training.”

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Bath explain the Cokanasiga England absence, update Spencer injury

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