England wing Joe Cokanasiga is closing in on his Bath comeback as he continues to recover from the long-term knee issue sustained during last autumn’s World Cup.

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Cokanasiga has not played since scoring two tries in England’s pool match against the USA in September – his only appearance at the tournament – and his club were furious that they had not been made aware of the severity of the injury until he returned from Japan.

However, director of rugby Stuart Hooper insists the giant Fiji-born threequarter will be available soon. “Joe’s not far away, so he’s back up and running and running well. We’re looking to see Joe back on the field in the not too distant future, which is great,” Hooper said.

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Former Bath academy player Ben Mercer guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

“He’s working hard and we’re looking forward to that day when we can sit down at a selection meeting and put his name on the board, which won’t be long.”

Bath are looking to build on their impressive 34-17 victory over London Irish when they visit old rivals Leicester on Saturday as the Gallagher Premiership continues behind closed doors following a five-month break for coronavirus.

“The key thing with Leicester and having been involved in rugby for a long time as an opposition player, there is always an expectation on Leicester Tigers and what they deliver.

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“Our guys have prepared hard and something that we have focused on in this period of time is that we are making sure we look after ourselves. As it is never truer than in this period because if you get caught up in the opposition and you get caught up in what will work one week and what works the next then you all of a sudden aren’t developing as a team.

“The big thing for us is looking after the welfare of our players and what they do. Games and game minutes are part of that so that we will look to be careful during this period.”

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