BATH RUGBY: Bath to act after Claassens’ injury

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bath scrum-half Michael Claassens faces several weeks out with injury (photo: Bob Ascott) Bath scrum-half Michael Claassens faces several weeks out with injury (photo: Bob Ascott)

BATH head coach Gary Gold was hoping to add to his scrum-half options before this weekend, with regular number nine Michael Claassens facing several weeks on the sidelines.

Claassens has injured a bone in his thumb, leaving Gold with just Mark McMillan and Chris Cook available heading into what he has described as “a massive six weeks”.

The South African player has made 83 consecutive Aviva Premiership appearances – just four shy of the record – but could maintain that if he recovers before the clash with Worcester on February 9 Gold said: “It’s a bit of a blow for us. Michael is out for three to four weeks so that’s a bit of a concern. He may be ready for the Gloucester (LV= Cup) game in three weeks time.

“We’ve got Macca (Mark McMillan) and Cooky (Chris Cook) but we are thin now and are probably going to have to look at a replacement.

“We are looking to bring somebody else in. I’m hoping we’ll be quite close (this week).’’

Last Saturday’s 19-16 Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Agen moved Bath to the brink of a top quarter-final seeding, with tomorrow’s home meeting with minnows Bucharest Wolves (2.15pm) to come, but Gold was largely unimpressed.

“Saturday was quite a disappointment really,” he said.

“I don’t think we played well enough in the first half. It was really important to try and get the five points and we didn’t.

“I don’t want us to gloss over a poor performance just because we won the game because I don’t think then that we will improve as a team.

“The bottom line is our performance wasn’t good enough.

“They (Bucharest) actually beat Agen, so I just don’t think they deserve to be taken lightly. We’re not exactly playing the rugby of our lives at the moment so we’re putting ourselves under a lot of pressure.’’

Props Nathan Catt and Kane Palma-Newport are expected to be involved against the Romanian side, with hooker Brett Sharman and three-quarter Jack Cuthbert also getting runouts.

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