'Heartbreaking': Wasps confirm uncapped England prospect Odogwu has torn his ACL
Struggling Wasps have announced the latest setback in their difficult season, the loss of uncapped England prospect Paolo Odogwu to an ACL injury that will take a considerable length of time to mend. Odogwu had been one of the few bright spots in the Coventry-based club’s troubled campaign where they are struggling to finish high enough to qualify for next season Heineken Champions Cup just eight months after contesting the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership final against Exeter at Twickenham.
The 24-year-old, who was initially courted by Italy over the winter, turned down the Azzurri in the hope that he might get picked up by England boss Eddie Jones. This is precisely what happened in January, Odogwu getting chosen in the 28-man squad this year’s Guinness Six Nations.
Odogwu finished the campaign without earning a debut cap but that situation was set to be rectified by this summer’s series where England will host the USA and Canada at Twickenham while their front-line stars are away with the Lions in South Africa.
However, Odogwu won’t now figure in the England squad that Jones will announce on June 10. A starter at outside centre last Saturday for Wasps, he limped out of the Premiership defeat at Northampton with less than 30 minutes remaining and was replaced by Jimmy Gopperth.
Wasps didn’t give much of an update on Tuesday at their weekly media session ahead of next Saturday’s must-win trip to London Irish, except to say that Odogwu was having his injury scanned that afternoon. The results of that scan have now emerged and it is unlikely the popular back will be seen in action for his club until 2022.
"You do get a bit rusty on things like tackling properly because I haven’t had to make a full-on tackle in a while"
– Paolo Odogwu went 11 weeks without playing due to an England call-up where he never made Eddie Jones' match-day 23 https://t.co/8TiZzNh5CT
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 23, 2021
A Wasps statement read: “An MRI scan has revealed that Paolo Odogwu sustained a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Saturday’s game against Northampton Saints. He will be seeing a knee specialist on Friday for assessment and management planning. Everyone at Wasps wishes Paolo all the best for a speedy recovery.”
Odogwu added: “This is obviously a heartbreaking end to probably the best season of my life, but these things happen. There is a long road ahead, but we move on and, of course, stay composure.”
"You’ll find that guys that come in this quickly sometimes pick up knocks and Charlie is pretty resilient in that way"
– Nine months after getting mown down by the red-carded Owen Farrell, 19-year-old Charlie Atkinson is earning kudos at Wasps https://t.co/8a3EMjXKjo
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 2, 2021
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