Super Rugby Pacific: Angus Bell set for lengthy spell on the sidelines

Angus Bell Waratahs SRP 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Angus Bell Waratahs SRP 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

The Waratahs’ Super Rugby Pacific campaign has already suffered a setback after Wallabies prop Angus Bell re-injured his foot during their tournament opener against the Brumbies at the weekend.

Bell is set to be sidelined for up to four months after rupturing the ligament in the big toe of his right foot again. The 22-year-old made his return to action in Friday’s 31-25 defeat to the Brumbies in Sydney.

Bell has been struggling with the injury since last year and it initially ruled him out of the Wallabies‘ 2022 end-of-year tour to the northern hemisphere.

Lively start against the Brumbies

The loosehead prop made a lively start against the Brumbies and set up a try for Max Jorgensen during the game’s early stages but was forced off the field midway through the opening half.

Waratahs forwards coach Pauli Taumoepeau said losing a player of Bell‘s calibre was a big blow for the Sydneysiders and said he could see from the Wallaby’s reaction after a scrum that something was wrong with him.

“It’s demoralising,” he told Rugby Australia’s official website.

“He’s done so much work to get to this point and he knew (he’d injured it), he was silent.

“The scrum happened, we dominated, so as a forwards coach I was quite happy but he sort of caught my attention and I didn’t really understand what he was talking about. When I ran out there for him, he didn’t really give me anything other than getting 10 steps into it and he said, ‘My toe’s gone’.

“You could just tell it wasn’t good. He didn’t stop, he just kept walking straight past me back to the sheds. He knew straight away.

“I went back and looked at the footage. His reaction after a dominant scrum like that was he knew immediately what had happened.”

With Bell looking at a four-month stint on the sidelines, he will be pushing to be fit for a condensed Rugby Championship during July.

“I think he was out for four or five months last time and it’s exactly the same thing,” added Taumoepeau.

“I’m hearing that he is just looking to try to get into the Wallabies stuff. DC (Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman) just announced it in front of the team, so whatever that is, four or five months.

“He’s weighing up his options, but I think he’ll head into surgery.”

Big blow for Waratahs

New signing Tom Lambert is expected to start in Bell’s place when they face Fijian Drua in Super Rugby Pacific‘s Super Round in Melbourne on Saturday, but Taumoepeau said Bell’s absence will be keenly felt by the Waratahs.

“(His absence) is massive,” he added.

“We rely and draw some plays that are specific to his carry power. Obviously he’s a pretty dominant and destructive scrummager as well, and we rely on those things. It’s a big blow.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Waratahs teenage sensation Max Jorgensen scores twice on Super Rugby Pacific debut

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