Injury will prolong England loose forward Brad Shields’ absence from the international arena after the Wasps star re-aggravated the same foot injury which kept him out of this year’s World Cup in Japan.
The Kiwi-born 28-year-old has endured a torrid time with injuries since departing the Hurricanes for English club rugby last year, and this latest blow looks set to rule him out of action until the end of January.
With England set to open their Six Nations campaign against France in Paris on February 3, there appears to be little time for Shields to stake a claim in Eddie Jones’ squad for the forthcoming competition.
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Wasps director of rugby Dai Young provided an update on Shields’ injury, which he sustained in this month’s 9-7 Challenge Cup defeat to Edinburgh.
“It’s a massive blow, unfortunately he just seems to pick up these niggles and can’t get a run,” Young said of the eight-test stalwart, according to Stuff.
“It’s a similar injury but the other side [of the foot]. It’s a plantar fascia which is the back of the foot. In the World Cup he did it on the outside, this time he’s done it on the inside.
“It’s not quite as bad as it was then … four to six weeks rather than six to eight.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 24, 2019
The injury blow will hurt Wasps’ aspirations in both the Premiership and Challenge Cup just as much as it will impact Shields’ international ambitions.
The Coventry-based club sit in 10th place in the Premiership with just one win from six outings, and with last-placed Saracens rapidly climbing up the ladder following their salary cap breach, a scrap for relegation with 11th-placed Leicester looks imminent.
In the Challenge Cup, Wasps lie in third-place in Pool 3, 10 points off the pace of Edinburgh, who occupy the last potential qualifying spot for a berth in the play-offs in that group with just two matches remaining.
Subsequently, it’s proving to be a turbulent time at the Ricoh Arena, although Shields has been receiving support from his fanbase during his recovery, of which he shared on his Instagram account.
Wasps continue their dim domestic campaign on Friday, when they travel to Ashton Gate to take on early play-off contenders Bristol Bears.
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