Rugby Union: Saracens may have to call on more of their British & Irish Lions at Bath as injuries mount up
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 September 2017
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The likes of Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola could all return this weekend
Saracens could be forced to hand a number of their British & Irish Lions their seasonal bows at Bath in the Avivia Premiership on Saturday because of an injury crisis engulfing the north London club in the early part of the season.
Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola, who all tourned New Zealand with the Lions in the summer, were all rested as Sarries began their campaign with a 55-24 rout of Northampton Saints at Twickenham last Saturday.
Maro Itoje and George Kruis were also on Lions duty in the summer, but were both deemed fit enough to start.
Kruis, however, lasted just 15 minutes against the Saints before being forced off with an ankle injury to join an ever-growing number of players on the sidelines.
And with the injuries starting to pile up, Sarries may have to field some of their Lions tourists sooner than they would have liked.
But director of rugby Mark McCall confirmed the likes of Farrell, George and Vunipola were all desperate to get back out on the field and start playing rugby again.
“I would rather have it this way where they are pushing to play and we are making the decisions, than the other way around where we are having to persuade them to play,” said the 49-year-old.
“They are chomping at the bit I would say. We will probably bring a few more of them back in one way or another this weekend.”
Kruis’ injury against Saints last weekend will be of particular concern to Sarries, with the lock having missed much of last season through a different ankle problem that required surgery.
But while no timeframe has yet been set for Kruis’ return, McCall seemed relaxed about the injury.
The former Ireland international added: “It has been described to me as a ‘bad yank to the ankle’.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be overly serious, so that’s hopefully good news, though we will know more after he sees a consultant.
“He’ll be back in time to play some big games for us before the autumn internationals.”
Also on the sidelines is summer signing Calum Clark, who missed the win over Saints with a pulled calf muscle, though it is expected the flanker will be fit to make his Sarries debut in the coming weeks.