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'Bizarre': How vegetables injury sidelined Bristol's Fitz Harding

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Bristol boss Pat Lam has quipped that fast-rising back-rower Fitz Harding needs to improve his food preparation skills after a self-inflicted kitchen injury sidelined him from last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership win over Wasps. The soon-to-be 23-year-old has become a Bears regular this season, making eleven starts in the league and another two in Europe.


His emergence resulted in the decision by Bristol to loan out Nathan Hughes to Bath in recent weeks but Lam wasn’t temped to recall the ex-England No8 from his loan when it emerged that Harding was unavailable for selection last Friday night due to a mishap at home. 

“Fitz was a bizarre (situation),” explained Lam at his midweek media briefing on Wednesday. “He was cooking and unfortunately he cut his finger when he was cutting vegetables. He ruled himself out last week.”

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Bristol are back in action on Saturday at Bath but Lam wasn’t fully sure whether Harding will make it back in time to be considered for selection. “We’ll see how he goes. It would be one, two weeks max so we will see if he gets through this week whether it is worth taking the risk.”

The news that Harding had injured himself was relayed to Lam last week by his medical team and it was the following day when he caught up with the embarrassed Harding. 

“It normally comes to me via the medical team and I see him the next day and it’s like (Lam places his hand over his face), but fair play, at least he wasn’t on Uber Eats or Deliveroo. He was making his own dinner, which is again consistent with Fitz because he is a very independent man but maybe he has got to improve his cooking skills, the preparation skills.”


While Lam is unsure about Harding’s availability for Bristol this Saturday, what is certain is that Hughes won’t be lining up against them at The Rec as one of the stipulations of his loan deal with Bath was that he couldn’t play in the March 5 game against his parent club.  

“He is still with Bath at this stage. The call back option will only come in if we bring him back and play him. Nate is clocking the game times up for Bath which is great so he is ready to go if we need him going into this run-in.”


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