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Nathan Hughes an early casualty

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Nathan Hughes leaves the field in agony after just 19 minutes for Wasps

Wasps’ injury problems have worsened after Nathan Hughes was removed from the field just 19 minutes into his side’s crunch clash with Toulouse at the Ricoh Arena.

An early Cheslin Kolbe try hurt Wasps but the loss of the big Number 8 so early in the game will come as something of a body blow for the club.

Hughes – who is rated as the 5th best Number 8 in the Gallagher Premiership by the RugbyPass Index – was swung into the ground by giant Toulouse secondrow Joe Tekori, and was clearly in severe pain as he limped off the pitch.

It was Hughes second game back for Wasps since serving an extended RFU ban for punching. The ban was extended after Hughes tweeted via his personal account “what a joke” and during his disciplinary panel hearing in October.

He was primarily banned for six weeks for the punching of Lewis Ludlow on 6 October.

Hughes injury is more bad news for Wasps who have been hit by rumours of a player exodus over week.

As well as reports circulating that Hughes himself, Elliot Daly and Willie le Roux are set to leave the club, on Thursday Jake Cooper-Woolley, Matt Mullan and Simon McIntyre were all linked with leaving.

The lack of new training facilities have been rumoured to be a significant source of discontent for Wasps’ senior players. The team currently train at Broadstreet RFC, but a promised state-of-the-art £5 million training facility is yet to materialize.

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Nathan Hughes leaves the field in agony after just 19 minutes for Wasps