Every rugby fan now knows that England skipper Owen Farrell can tog out for Saracens from October 5 following the five-game ban he was given for last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership red card, but what has become of Charlie Atkinson, the Wasps teenager who was knocked unconscious?
There was 61 minutes of the match gone at Allianz Park when Atkinson, on his second appearance off the bench in the English top-flight, was laid out by Farrell’s suspension-earning high tackle.
Concussed by the incident, Atkinson was omitted from the Wasps squad that will host Leicester in the Premiership on Wednesday night and there are fears he has played his last part in the restarted 2019/20 season.
With just three regular-season games remaining before the play-offs after the visit of Tigers, Atkinson will be sidelined for the next few weeks at least.
Speaking at his media conference prior to Wednesday night’s game at the Ricoh, Wasps boss Lee Blackett said: “He [Atkinson] won’t be doing anything for a couple of weeks.
Legend? thanks for the messages, hopefully back soon? https://t.co/ubBu1dDrls
— Charlie Atkinson (@atkinsonc_) September 5, 2020
“We look after these younger guys, especially with a pretty tough head knock. I’ve had a couple of text messages in the last couple of days. He has not been in so we have left him at home. The couple of text messages I have had with him, everything seems alright.”
Atkinson has posted a comment on Twitter last Saturday following the incident at Allianz Park. “Thanks for the messages, hopefully back soon,” it read over a retweeted video featuring Jimmy Gopperth, who had just played in his 100th match for Wasps and had been influential in beating Saracens.
“Charlie was class until he went off,” enthused Gopperth in the clip. “Young guys getting these experiences, these kind of games are about creating memories and we definitely made a memory today. They are games you never forget.”
Atkinson, an England U18 player who joined the Wasps senior squad when it resumed training post-lockdown, joined the Premiership club’s academy in February 2016 and it was last month against Sale that he made his top-flight debut, replacing Jacob Umaga with eight minutes remaining versus Sale.
His cameo versus Saracens was his second run but it was terminated by Farrell. The disciplinary committee said of the incident: “This was a totally unacceptable contact with the neck/head of Charlie Atkinson as a result of a reckless tackle which had the consequences of him being knocked unconscious and sustaining a concussion.”
This outcome has ignited a firestorm ? https://t.co/zp9SuYVeo6
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 9, 2020
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