Heathcote injury blow for Bath
August 12, 2012
Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote is set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury in his side's pre-season victory over London Welsh © Getty Images
Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after picking up a serious-looking knee injury in his side's pre-season victory over London Welsh at The Rec on Saturday.
The promising 20-year-old limped out of Bath's 40-31 win midway through the first half having kicked his side into an early 9-3 advantage. With Olly Barkley and Stephen Donald absent through illness and injury respectively, academy recruit Ollie Devoto filled the void at No.10 and may now be set for a more high profile role in the early months of the season.
"That's devastating," said head coach Gary Gold. "He started off quite well and he's definitely part of our plans. But that's always a risk with these games.
"It's such a chicken and egg scenario because you need these games but you could do without injuries like that. We will have to assess it on Monday and see how long he is out for - MCL injuries can be potentially be quite long-term."
There was more positive playmaker news for London Welsh with Gavin Henson opening his account for the club. The former Wales international entered the fray at half-time for Gordon Ross and helped set-up two tries and landed three conversions.
"I'm pleased at how all the players have applied themselves. We're not here to measure people just at the moment, especially someone like Gavin who's been off for a very long time."
Jones also believes his side are playing catch-up in terms of preparation having only belatedly been awarded promotion following a protracted legal battle. "I'd say that we are four weeks behind most teams - and probably four years behind Leicester ad Quins, such is their capability. But we can't go on about that, it's not in our power to do anything about that. We just need to keep building.
"It was quite clear today that things we havent worked on cost us - Bath were far superior in certain aspects, such as the distance and accuracy of their kicking game. We haven't had time to look at it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards