Yeandle ruled out until the New Year
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, has confirmed that club captain Jack Yeandle has broken a bone in his forearm - and will not be available for selection until the New Year.
Hooker Yeandle was forced off during the opening half of last weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup victory against Glasgow Warriors.
Baxter admitted post-game that the injury ‘didn’t look great’ and his fears were confirmed this week following scans carried out.
“Yenz’s is in a cast with a broken a bone in his forearm,” said a disappointed Baxter. “They can be a little complex to work out as to when they start to heal, simply because they are bones that don’t heal that quickly.
“He hasn’t had to have a plate put in, which ironically means his return to play might be a bit later, so we have got to be talking 10-12 weeks before we see him.”
Yeandle’s injury is the latest blow for Baxter, who has seen his front-row options diminish somewhat in recent weeks.
Fellow hooker Jack Innard is also expected to be sidelined for a similar period after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury.
The young Cornishman went under the knife the same day as Welsh international Tomas Francis, who picked up a serious shoulder injury of his own whilst on Rugby World Cup duty in Japan.
Baxter believes Francis could be out for up to four months, depending on his rehabilitation, whilst fellow props Greg Holmes (Achilles) and Alfie Petch (knee) are also going to be ruled out until the New Year.
“With all of these lads, things can accelerate or go backwards as you get to the end stages of rehab,” added Baxter. “It’s a challenge for us at the minute, but I’ve said before, you can get challenged in one position and someone can come through.
“We’ve got other options, guys like Elvis Taione and Jordon Poole, they will both get their opportunities in the next few weeks and it’s up to them to prove their worth to the squad.”
On the plus side, however, Baxter will be delighted to see that two of his summer signings, Tom Price and Will Witty, are back out on the training paddock following surgery during the off-season.
Price pulled on an Exeter jersey for the first time in Monday night’s 45-0 victory over Harlequins in the Premiership Rugby Shield, whilst Witty has this week taken part in full training with the Chiefs.
“We’re starting to thicken out a bit more in the back five,” said Baxter. “As I said, we’ve got issues around the front-row, but generally we’re looking in good shape and we’ve got a group of players who are looking strong, looking fit and who want to be out playing big games of rugby.”