England prospect Alfie Barbeary could be out for up to 3 months
Barbeary, who is equally adept in the backrow as at hooker, has caught the eye with outstanding form in the latter part of 2020, with many tipping him for inclusion in Eddie Jones’ wider Six Nations squad.
However, the rampaging No.8 will have to undergo ankle surgery on Monday and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“Alfie has got a syndesmosis injury. He will see the specialist Wednesday so we will know more from then,” said Blackett at last week’s media briefing. “Whenever you hear that (ankle) injury it’s not the greatest but it’s not out and out disaster.
Last night Blackett suggested that the time frame for his return will likely see him miss out on the Six Nations. “He is going under on Monday. From the scans, when they go inside that’ll deem how long he is out for, but it could honestly range between anything from six to 12 weeks. We will know more Monday.”
While England are currently enjoying an embarrassment of riches in the back row, Barbeary’s ability to cover multiple positions gives the former England U20s star a positional utility rarely seen at Test level. With Eddie Jones often paying lip-service to the idea of hybrid players, Barbeary seemed to very much fit the Australian’s bill and was forecast to at the very least play a part in England’s wider Six Nations training squad.
His ball-carrying ability in particular has caught the eye, with the 20-year-old making 120 metres for Wasps in their Round 2 match against Gloucester alone. In September he scored a hat-trick of tries against Leicester Tigers.
Barbeary’s age-grade abilities saw the 6’1, 116kg foward representing England at U18s and U20s levels in the same season.
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