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Gloucester statement: Mark Atkinson ruled out for rest of season

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

England prospect Mark Atkinson will miss the rest of the 2022/23 season following an injury sustained while playing for Gloucester in last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership win over Bath. The 32-year-old made a Test debut last November when he was chosen by Eddie Jones to play off the bench in the Twickenham win over Tonga and he followed that Autumn Nations Series appearance with a start in the non-capped game last June versus Barbarians.

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Atkinson wasn’t involved in the recent England training squad that gathered in London, but he had started all three of the Premiership games played so far by Gloucester in this season’s Premiership – but his occupation of the No12 club shirt has now come to an abrupt end.

A statement read: “Gloucester Rugby can sadly confirm that Mark Atkinson will miss the remainder of the 2022/23 season. The centre suffered a significant knee injury in the 74th minute of the victory over Bath at The Rec. Atkinson will now begin his rehabilitation with the support of the Gloucester Rugby medical team.”

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COO Alex Brown added: “We are hugely disappointed to lose someone of Mark’s quality for the remainder of the season. He is a key part of our squad and will remain an important voice for us behind the scenes.

“We know that he will be working extremely diligently with our medical team during this period off the pitch to recover as quickly as he can.”

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Speaking in September 2021 after Atkinson was given his first England squad call, Gloucester boss George Skivington explained how invaluable the midfielder had become to his team. “Last season (2020/21) he was probably the best ball-in-hand twelve in the league. I did speak to Eddie Jones last year and I knew he was on the radar.

“He [Atkinson] probably was disappointed he didn’t get any involvement in the summer so delighted for him. Hopefully, he gets an opportunity. Consistency is the key for any Premiership player. That is what you aspire to do, to be consistent week in, week out.

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“Having one or two good games and then ten average ones isn’t ideal for your club and it certainly won’t get you recognised at international level. His commitment to the cause and his consistently good performances have got him noticed.”

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