NEXT UP | European Rugby returns!
The next outing for the men’s team will be against London Irish at home on 23 January in the European Challenge Cup.
Having lost the first fixture to Edinburgh, and then had the trip to Pau postponed due to COVID, there is a mountain to climb to try to reach the knock-out stages.
But the game against Irish will be very important for Mark McCall on two fronts. Firstly, it will give him a chance to blood some youngsters and check on their development, and secondly he may be able to give Owen Farrell a run out.
“Owen is back training hard with Joe Shaw and is ahead of schedule. The plan is to give him a run out against London Irish,” said director of rugby, McCall.
“He is incredibly fit and I’m sure Eddie Jones will be wanting to take a look at him if the game goes ahead. Given we are both in the same country, there shouldn’t be any problems.
“It’s nice that we’ve got a bye in the next round. That gives us a week off before the Irish match. We still have another game to go after that, away at Wasps, and if Eddie wants Owen to get in another game we would be very happy to oblige!”
There will then be seven rounds of Premiership matches played during the Six Nations period when clubs will have to do without their international players.
That will stretch the resources with the following games due to be played:
30 January – Wasps (a); 5 February – Bath (h); 13 February – Harlequins (h); 19 February – London Irish (a); 5 March – Leicester (h); 12 March – Newcastle Falcons (a).
“We’re not sure who will be missing, but Sean Maitland could go with Scotland, Nick Tompkins with Wales and any number with England,” added McCall.