Bath Rugby start worldwide search for Rob Webber cover
Bath Rugby are embarking on a worldwide search to find injury cover for their sidelined England hooker Rob Webber.
The club confirmed to the Chronicle this week that the net is being cast far and wide in an effort to find a player “of the right calibre” to temporarily fill Webber’s boots.
It is a case of déjà vu for the club, which 11 months ago was forced into a similar search after their entire hooking contingent was briefly wiped out by injury.
Three weeks ago, England hooker Webber, pictured below, who has yet to play for Bath having moved to The Rec from Wasps over the summer, underwent his second shoulder operation in the space of half a year. The club now estimates that Webber faces a six-month rehabilitation period following his latest op. He initially tore a muscle in his shoulder in last year’s RBS 6 Nations.
Limited Deal. All day wedding photography only £545.00View details
All day wedding photography only £545.00
From Bridal preparations to first dance.
250+ Hi Res images on disc with full printing rights.
Professional photography at affordable prices.
Free no obligation consultations.
Offer subject to availability.
Book before 31st May 2013.
Available in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
Contact: 01225 439257
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Webber’s injury means Bath have two hookers in their first-team squad, Lee Mears and Ross Batty. Back-up is provided by Academy player Will Tanner.
The need for Bath to bolster their depth at hooker is illustrated by comparing the club’s resources in that position with West Country rivals Gloucester.
Earlier this month, the Cherry and Whites signed Italy international Tommaso d’Apice – a fourth hooker for their first-team squad – with director of rugby Nigel Davies emphasising the importance of strength and depth in the middle of the front row.
Bath first-team coach Brad Davis admitted that his squad’s current resources at number two needed to be supplemented.
“In crucial positions – like nine, ten, tighthead and at hooker – you need to have cover as a club,” he said.
“We are light there due to injury and it’s something we’re looking to strengthen. We are definitely looking for some cover.”
Davis admits last season’s injury crisis means the club has experience of scouting for hookers mid-season.
Last year, the club signed USA Eagles hooker Chris Biller on a short-term deal. Davis says the club is embarking on a similarly far-flung search.
“We have some experience of this situation from last year,” he said.
“You can’t just grab players from other [Premiership] clubs so you have to look globally to see what players could come in at short-.
“You have to get the right calibre of player to come in.”
Under salary cap regulations, clubs can spend money on temporary replacements for players diagnosed with long-term injuries, even if they have previously spent up to the cap.