Bristol Bears’ historic 23-8 away win over Wasps Rugby on Saturday was soured by a last minute injury to Sam Jeffries, the club’s brightest star in the match.
Flanker Jeffries played one of his best games for the club, with a team-high 24 tackles and most yards on offense from the attackers before disaster struck and he injured his hamstring in the 79th minute.
Jeffries’ injury is compounded by the fact that flanker Sam Lewis was also in a space boot post-match after rolling his ankle after coming into play as a substitute, with Steven Luatua (calf), Dan Thomas (ankle) and Fitz Harding (unknown) is also currently offside.Read:Man Utd: Erik ten Hag tells stars they must show ‘right attitude’ in crunch clash with Liverpool
Jeffries, who was called up on Saturday as an injury replacement for the England tour of Australia this summer when Charlie Ewels suffered a knee injury in training, at least looked like a player of international caliber, despite not making his Down Under debut.
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Earlier today, Bath confirmed that fellow England flanker Sam Underhill will miss the Autumn internationals after having surgery on his shoulder, meaning Jeffries would likely have lined up to play at Twickenham, after getting good and real on the radar of head coach Eddie Jones. But now that seems in serious doubt.
After the match Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam said: “I am absolutely gutted and annoyed because we had a lineout that we should have won just before he got injured. You win that lineout and get the ball out , it’s game over but we lost it, so I’m disappointed.Read:Cristiano Ronaldo shows respect to Man City by avoiding walking across club badge ahead of Manchester United’s derby thrashing at Etihad
“Sam was phenomenal, he was my man of the game by far with the work he did on defence. He had to go in one more time and was knocked out and it seems his hamstring isn’t looking great.
“I’m not happy about that because there are consequences if you give the opponent the ball, but if you lose a player like that, it’s heartbreaking.”
Discussing his backrow depth for the showdown with London Irish at Ashton Gate on Saturday, Lam admitted it was a case of ‘all hands on deck’ with center Sam Bedlow flanking the match at the Coventry Building Society Arena closed.
Lam said: “We’ll be seeing Dan Thomas this week. He wasn’t quite ready to play this week, but we will definitely need all hands on deck.”
If necessary, Chris Vui can move from the second row to the blindside flanker, while John Hawkins has also previously filled the six-shirt, but the options across the backline certainly look slim with an unforgiving run of games to come and the ambitious Bristol is currently second in the league table behind Sale Sharks after two wins from two matches so far this Premiership season.Read:Championship: Willock stuns leaders Sheffield United as QPR go fourth | Championship
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