Sigley's ban to leave Gloucester facing crisis

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The Independent Online

Gloucester have been hit by a front-row crisis in the build-up to their European Challenge Cup quarter-final first-leg tie against Brive at Kingsholm on Saturday.

According to Cup rules, a team has to include five front-row forwards in its 22-man match-day squad, but after Terry Sigley was sent off for stamping against Bristol on Saturday, Gloucester were left without a recognised prop.

Sigley's hearing is tonight when he will almost certainly be suspended. Phil Vickery is out for the rest of the season with a back problem; Gary Powell (shoulder) is still a couple of weeks away; Nick Wood had an MRI scan on a neck injury yesterday and will be assessed later this week, but is doubtful.

Finally, Patrice Collazo fell awkwardly on a shoulder against Bristol (Sigley replaced him) and ended up in a sling on Saturday evening. He, too, will be assessed as the week goes on.

There was one bit of good news for Gloucester, when Premier Rugby's Phil Winstanley persuaded the England authorities late yesterday to release Jack Forster from England Under-19 World Cup duty in Dubai, on the understanding that he be flown out to join up with the rest of the England squad if Gloucester find a way to meet their five-man front-row quota without him.