To be brutally honest - which England's stony-faced coach is known to be from time to time - had Ben Cohen's departure from the Franklin's Gardens field, clutching his troublesome right cheekbone, proved terminal it would not have been the worst thing that could have happened a week before the Six Nations opener against Wales. Cohen is a contender for a place in Andy Robinson's side but Tom Voyce, Mark Cueto and possibly Josh Lewsey, all unharmed yesterday, are also in the mix on the wing.
Cohen had stitches in a cut, rather than an X-ray on a possible fracture, and played on. If the time before the squad's gathering tonight does not reveal any slow-burning problems - concussion, for one, can have you pitching head-first into your cornflakes the next day - a treacherous weekend has passed serenely enough.
There was an alarm at Bath when the lock Steve Borthwick went down, but he soon got up, flexed his knee, wiped his oft-broken nose and carried on. Ditto the centre Mike Tindall at Gloucester, clobbered by a bunch of London Irish tacklers but able to continue despite a spell on the floor, clutching a shoulder.
Worcester's captain Pat Sanderson left the pitch at Bristol on Friday night leaking "claret" from a cut to the head, yet afterwards simply reported no further alarms from a longstanding back injury. A few stitches, perhaps a protective swathe of tape, and he should be fit to chase Wales's captain Gareth Thomas about at Twickenham, the latter surviving half of Toulouse's 27-13 win at Pau without further trouble from his knee.
Martin Corry, who last year dislocated his elbow at Gloucester and thus missed defeats to Wales and France, sat out Leicester's draw at home to Sale - 12 squad members with no bits missing at the end - to protect a rib injury, rather than the still vivid scar on his head, inflicted by the New Zealanders in November. Ribs - like Corry's elbow, still - can be bound over to keep the peace if needs be.
Corry's club will play their Heineken Cup quarter-final with Bath, on 1 April, at the Walkers Stadium. Welford Road holds 16,815 fans, Leicester have 15,000 season-ticket holders, and 4,000 places must go to Bath. Leicester City's abode, host to a 2005 semi-final loss to Toulouse, seats 32,500.
Toulouse will play Leinster at the Stadium Municipal in front of 37,000 fans, Biarritz will hope for 32,000 at San Sebastien to watch Sale and Munster must try to meet Lansdowne Road's 49,500 capacity for the visit of Perpignan.Reuse content