REPORT: Cautiously optimistic news emerges on Jack Willis injury
Many feared the worst for Willis, who suffered the sickening injury when being cleared out of a ruck by Italy’s Sebastien Negri, a move which left Willis wailing in agony and having to be removed from the pitch on a medical cart.
Yet while Willis is expected to be out of the game for some time, it appears that his ACL has crucially not been ‘done’.
“It’s really early and I don’t want to go concrete with this but it sounds like he has done quite a few things with his knee,” Wasps Director of Rugby Lee Blackett told Bobby Bridge of The Coventry Telegraph. “It’s pretty serious. But at this moment in time it looks like he has not done his ACL. He will spend a long time out, I should imagine.
“I’ve only had a couple of text messages with him, as you can imagine, there will be a lot of people messaging him. I think by the sounds of things he is just typical Jack really. He wishes us good luck this morning, the thing that will make him happy is that we get a result and hopefully we’ve done that for him.
“It’s hard to get how he is in terms of a text message. I know Jack, I know how distraught he will be. This happens to professional rugby players. We will be there to support him in any way we possibly can.
— Bobby Bridge (@bobby_bridge) February 14, 2021
“I’d like to go on the record as well, I think England have been fantastic. Richard Hill with me, the doctors, the physios with our club, I’m nothing but grateful to England for how they have contacted us and dealt with this whole situation.”
Negri public messaged Jack Willis on Twitter, saying: “A quick message to Jack Willis. So sorry about what happened yesterday. Just Horrible and never nice to see. Myself and all the Italian Rugby boys are wishing you all the best. I hope to see you back on the field again soon. Take care and we all know you will be back stronger.”
A quick message to Jack Willis. So sorry about what happened yesterday. Just Horrible and never nice to see. Myself and all the @Federugby boys are wishing you all the best??I hope to see you back on the field again soon. Take care and we all know you will be back stronger?? Seb pic.twitter.com/wCYisXxllp
— Sebastian Negri (@slnegri04) February 14, 2021
Some have called for the ‘crocodile roll’ technique to be completely banned, although there seems to be some debate over how legal the practice is, as it stands under World Rugby Laws.
“We need to go back to refereeing the law. It is illegal to collapse a ruck. It is illegal to enter below hip height. That would stop crocodile rolls like this happening, which will stop horrific injuries like this one,” retired referee Nigel Owens wrote in his Sports Mail column.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now