Melani Nanai’s season over

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  • Melani Nanai
    Samoan rugby union player

Worcester have been dealt a heavy blow with the news that full-back Melani Nanai will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Nanai suffered the injury in the Premiership clash at Saracens on Boxing Day, the culmination of a miserable run of injury – and Covid – luck which has seen him play only two matches all season.

That may not have a bearing on this coming weekend’s clash with Bath however, as the Premiership’s bottom team is currently quarantining players in hotels in order to mitigate the spread of Covid throughout the playing staff.

Positive attitude

Bath forfeited a Premiership Rugby Cup game against Exeter and saw their New Year clash with London Irish cancelled as well, but director of rugby Stuart Hooper remains positive, believing the hotel solution will have the situation under control.

“We have had a pretty clean bill of health and we have a lot of bodies back on the ground as of today and tomorrow,” he said to Somerset Live.

“We were hit across the board through injuries but mainly because of the Covid situation we had; we had a third of the squad unavailable due to Covid.

“We did everything we could to play the games but when you are in a position where over 50 percent of the squad are unavailable to play [because of injuries] and you add in Covid on top that it put us into a position where is was absolutely impossible to play.

“We have been testing vigorously day to day and as it stands right now we are in a good spot [to play this weekend].”

Exeter coach Rob Baxter gave a more upbeat assessment of injury to his team however, naming only winger Tom O’Flaherty as a doubt for the Premiership Final rematch with Harlequins because of a concussion.

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