September 23, 2021
England boss Eddie Jones and Bath Rugby have explained the absence of Fiji-born winger Joe Cokanasiga from the 45-member mini-camp training squad announced this week.
Despite scoring four tries in the two-game summer series, Joe Cokanasiga was a missing name from the camp list.
Wrecked by injury since appearing in the September 2019 World Cup pool match against the USA, Jones was talking of the long-awaited return of Cokanasiga to the England line-up.
Cokanasiga was chosen in the No14 jersey for his first Test match in 22 months against the USA at Twickenham.
“He’s a good player. We have managed to get enough petrol in his tank, so he drives a Jaguar and he has got a full tank at the moment and is ready to go,” Jones told RugbyPass.com.
“He has had a difficult time with injuries which contribute to lack of fitness, lack of quality training time, lack of consistent playing time.
He had some consistent game time at the end of the Premiership season and now he has had three weeks of really good training with us. He looks in fantastic conditioning. We have just got to get him to the petrol station to put the last little bit in and he will be ready to go Sunday.”
Cokanasiga was ready, scoring two first-half tries against the Eagles and he followed up that strike rate with another brace of tries six days later against Canada.
However, he has since missed the start of the new Premiership season with Bath.
“Bath can confirm Joe Cokanasiga and Ben Spencer have suffered injuries which will see them side lined for a period, but neither require surgery. Cokanasiga left the field in the friendly against Cardiff after damaging his knee while Spencer started the opening day of the season at Sale Sharks and injured his hamstring. Both players will work with the club’s expert Performance Department who will ensure they are given the best rehabilitation possible for the quickest and safest return to action,” a medical bulletin update from Bath read.
“Our main priority is to give both players our full care and support,” added Bath boss Stuart Hooper.
“We are bitterly disappointed for Joe after his recent history with injuries. He showcased exactly what he was about in the summer with England and we are confident our performance department will help him reach the highest level once again. Ben has been a key part of our side since his arrival at the club and he will give everything to his rehabilitation just as he does with his training,” he added.
By Romeka Romena