Furbank to miss Wasps clash but Saints boosted by returning players

Attack coach Sam Vesty has confirmed that George Furbank will not face Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday afternoon.

By Tom Vickers
Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:20 pm
George Furbank was involved in a horrible clash with Santiago Carreras
George Furbank was involved in a horrible clash with Santiago Carreras

Furbank was forced off after 32 minutes at Gloucester last weekend having been involved in a big aerial collision with Gloucester wing Santiago Carreras.

Both players required lengthy treatment before making their way from the field with facial wounds.

And with Furbank now going through his return-to-play protocol, he will not be available to face Wasps.

But there is better news on Ahsee Tuala, who has recovered from his battle with Covid-19, and the Samoan could be in line for a recall.

Tommy Freeman, who impressed after replacing Furbank at Kingsholm, is another option for the 15 shirt.

"George obviously took a nasty head knock," Vesty said.

"Luckily he's feeling much better and he'll rest this weekend to get his head right, following the return-to-play protocols.

"We're in a good place with Tommy Freeman, who is a good, young lad.

"We've got Ace Tuala back, who's been out with Covid, and he's back running around with us so we've got some good depth in that space."

More good news comes in the form of Tom Wood, who is now free to play again after suspension.

Teimana Harrison remains a doubt with a hand injury, but James Grayson is available to return to action and appears likely to step into the 10 shirt in place of Dan Biggar, who is with Wales.

"We've got good fly-halves in our ranks and we're really happy we've got Jimmy and other players who can do a job there," Vesty said.

"We've got good options across our backline and we're not concerned.

"Biggs has been good, but now it's Jimmy's time."

Harry Mallinder, who has been in full training, and Ollie Sleightholme are very close to a return to action, but Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Achilles) is on the long-term injury list and Courtney Lawes is with England ahead of Saturday's Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham.