Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has explained why a number of players did not feature in the win over Newcastle Falcons.

Tries from Brad Shields and Tom West saw the black and golds overcome a 12-point half-time deficit to win 20-18 at Kingston Park.

Among the players who featured in the previous week’s defeat to Bristol Bears but didn’t make the trip to the northeast were Tom Cruse and Jacob Umaga.

Hooker Cruse pulled his calf in training on Tuesday and is out for ‘about six weeks’.

On fly-half Umaga’s absence, Blackett explained: ” Jacob’s is just close contact [Covid-19 related], living arrangments, not with one of our people, he’s a close contact with someone and he’ll be available next week.”

Tighthead prop Kieran Brookes was picked to start after serving his ban for a red card against Leicester Tigers but was withdrawn from the squad to face one of his former clubs.

“It’s his hand,” said Blackett. “He’s not broken it, but we feel like it may be ligaments or something like that. So he has had an x-ray but we didn’t feel a break, it may be something else.”

Shields’ withdrawal with seven minutes to go to be replaced by lock Theo Vukasinovic who packed down on the flank was due to cramp.

Joe Launchbury and Alfie Barbeary both made their returns from injury lay-offs and were influential figures in Wasps’ victory at Kingston Park.





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