Wasps confirm extent of Fekitoa injury and it's bad news for Tonga
Wasps midfielder Malakai Fekitoa will need surgery on his dislocated shoulder and will be sidelined for months, ruling the former All Blacks player out of an XV Test debut for Tonga in the autumn tests against Scotland and England. The 29-year-old was injured in last weekend’s 44-8 Premiership win over Bristol.
Four days on from that 41st-minute exit, Wasps boss Lee Blackett confirmed the grim prognosis for Fekitoa who had qualified to switch his international rugby allegiance to Tonga by playing in last June’s Olympic sevens qualifying event in Monaco.
Blackett explained at a club media briefing: “Malakai has dislocated his shoulder and will need surgery. It will be months rather than weeks and he will be out for a significant time.
“It is a blow to lose someone who is a talisman for us and it will open up opportunities for guys to come in. He is the ultimate team man and leads the backline, but some of the young guys will get a chance now.
“We will explore looking at bringing someone in and also things we can do within the squad to move people into the centre. We will look around but if we don’t feel we can add to the group we won’t bring them in. We have options in the squad and Josh Bassett playing at 13 is something we are exploring. Thomas Youngs has done things in the backline before.”
"When guys play Test rugby it can hurt you as a club, but…"
– Ex-All Blacks midfielder Malakai Fekitoa qualified for an allegiance switch when playing for Tonga at a recent Olympic 7s qualifier in Monaco https://t.co/HDG75FVv8F
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 22, 2021
Blackett has to quickly find a new centre combination for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle, an opposition that defeated Bath last time out. “The Newcastle defence is very aggressive and has been set up well by Nick Easter and come at you and that is why we cannot get carried away with the win over Bristol.
“People shouldn’t get carried away with some of the early wins particularly after a Lions tour and look at who missing for Exeter and they will bounce back. As a league, this is the most competitive Premiership.”
The frustrated Wasps man ended up apologising. https://t.co/NMJNNFRXB0
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 25, 2021
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