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'I feel uncomfortable with the amount of attention some of these younger guys get'

By PA
Alfie Barbeary (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Wasps boss Lee Blackett is wary of the scrutiny on younger players as two of his England prospects start their rehabilitation following significant injuries.

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Alfie Barbeary and Charlie Atkinson have been included in training squads by Eddie Jones over the last year but both will miss the start of the new Gallagher Premiership campaign after being hurt in pre-season.

Barbeary, the 20-year-old versatile front and back row forward, is out for six to eight weeks with a torn hamstring as his promising career stalls because of another visit to the treatment room.

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And playmaker Atkinson, 19, has undergone knee surgery that has left him facing three to four months on the sidelines.

“I feel uncomfortable sometimes with the amount of attention some of these younger guys get because I don’t think it has a positive effect,” Blackett said.

“The family are always happy to see their name in the media, but there’s a load of pressure being put on these kids, not just by the family but by friends.

“There’s a lot on their shoulders early in their career and they have all this pressure put on them.”

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Barbeary in particular is being treated with care after being limited to two appearances over 12 months because of a succession of injuries.

“There have been a lot conversations about him because we all know how good a player he is and we just want to get him back on the field and playing consistently,” Blackett said.

“We’re aware of his injury history and there’s a lot of hard work making sure that we get this bang on.

“I just want to make sure we get it right with Alfie coming back. It’s difficult for any player that gets the attention that he does.”

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'I feel uncomfortable with the amount of attention some of these younger guys get'

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