Fraser doubt for Toulon clash
April 20, 2013
Gloucester's Jonny May scored twice against Saracens © Getty Images
Flanker Will Fraser is a major doubt for Saracens' Heineken Cup semi-final showdown against Toulon at Twickenham next weekend.
Fraser, a strong candidate to tour Argentina with England this summer, went off after just 15 minutes of Saracens' 28-23 Aviva Premiership defeat against Gloucester at Kingsholm. He suffered a shoulder injury, and Saracens now face an anxious wait before discovering whether or not he will play again this season as they push for European and domestic honours.
"Will is going to go for an MRI scan, and we will know more after that," Saracens rugby director Mark McCall said. "It would be a big loss. He has had a great season, but we have got some decent back-rowers to cover."
Saracens' six-game unbeaten Premiership run came to an end after wing Jonny May scored two first-half tries and Gloucester's England No.8 Ben Morgan claimed a superb solo touchdown that confirmed Heineken Cup qualification next term.
"It wasn't maybe the performance that we wanted," McCall added, after centre Joel Tomkins scored two tries and his midfield partner Owen Farrell kicked 13 points. "Gloucester put us under some pressure from time to time. We gave away a couple of reasonably soft scores - some of our mistakes gave Gloucester their opportunities.
"We were 25-16 down, but arguably we could have won that game at the end. We fought our way back into it. The nature of our fightback and the spirit and togetherness is what we are about.
"Toulon is a huge challenge for us, and that is the only game we will talk about for now. "There will definitely be things we can take from today's game. Sometimes you need some gentle reminders of what you are about and what makes you successful."
Saracens remain top of the Premiership, their losing bonus point keeping them four clear of Leicester, who lost 27-26 at Bath. And they were already safely through to the play-offs with a home draw, although they will be disappointed not to go into battle against Toulon next Sunday with a win.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies was delighted with his team's display as they brought the curtain down on their home games this season.
"We showed elements throughout our game today that we have seen bits of this season," he said. "If we become more consistent in certain basics of our game, then this team is very capable. The players were fantastic, the crowd was superb and everything came together.
"We played good territory throughout the game and put pressure on Saracens in their half, and because of that we were in control for large periods. But Saracens are a quality side who could well go on and win Europe this season, so for us to put in a performance like that and get the result is pretty significant.
"Heineken Cup qualification was one of the priorities at the start of the season, and we have also shown progress with this group of players."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra