A mountainous injury list has left Sudbury Rugby Club’s head coach admitting anything they can return from Wisbech with will be seen as a bonus.
Following their first back-to-back defeats of the season, Sudbury travel to the Fens on Saturday (2.30pm) after suffering an ‘unprecedented’ injury list in the 53-7 defeat at home to league leaders Campion.
Graham Richards said he had not seen anything like it, praising the bravery shown by James Barrie, who volunteered to go back on the pitch with a torn hamstring to prevent Suds having to finish the game with 13 players.
He was one of five who suffered full-blown injuries, with Chris Whybrow, who ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament, now ruled out for the season having not been able to complete his first game of the campaign.
Sam Cunning (trapped nerve), Jordan Brown (foot) and Ben Reece (knee) were also struck down, leaving second-team captain Paul Mather, who had been named as a substitute, to switch games to plug the gap for third-placed Suds.
“We did not enjoy ourselves at Wisbech last year and it is a game we would have been targeting to win, but now it is going to be difficult,” said Richards. “It will be backs-to-the-wall because of the injuries — an unprecedented number in one game.”
He added: “We just do not have the players to replace them, not with the same experience.”
With the university players also unavailable in exam season, at least Richards has forward pair Ollie Morgan and Bart Minter back available as well as scrum-half Tom Murray.
Nick Robinson (knee) and Andy Currie (ankle) are long-term absentees.