Michael Fatialofa: Worcester coach Alan Solomons admits ‘massive concern’ over forward’s neck injury

Play was held up for almost 10 minutes as he received medical attention

Duncan Bech
Saturday 04 January 2020 19:43
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Michael Fatialofa is carried off the field on a stretcher
Michael Fatialofa is carried off the field on a stretcher

Worcester head coach Alan Solomons admitted his “massive concern” about the neck injury suffered by replacement Michael Fatialofa in the 62-5 Gallagher Premiership defeat at Saracens.

Fatialofa, a 27-year-old second row from Auckland, had been on the pitch for just over a minute when he was hurt while taking the ball into contact.

Play was held up for almost 10 minutes as he received medical attention and, having been carried from the pitch on a stretcher, he was taken by ambulance to St Mary’s hospital accompanied by the team doctor and a travelling reserve.

“For me, a neck injury like that is a massive concern and I am worried about it, but I haven’t had any report from the hospital,” Solomons said. “It seemed like he dropped his head as he went into contact, but I haven’t studied the footage. It seems like he’s taken a blow to the neck.

“The medics have taken all precautions and have done everything possible. We’ve contacted his partner to let her know.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: “Our thoughts are with Michael Fatialofa. It didn’t look great. His health is the most important thing.”

Solomons refused to criticise his players as they conceded 10 tries in a brutally one-sided clash at Allianz Park that saw Saracens secure the bonus point on the half-hour mark.

The South African felt Worcester were on the receiving end of a backlash after the champions, who have been docked 35 points for being in breach of salary cap regulations, had lost 14-7 at arch-rivals Exeter six days ago.

“We were comprehensively outplayed by a side that played magnificently. They were outstanding and simply too good on the day,” he said. “We knew they weren’t at their best against Exeter last week and we knew there would be a backlash. We couldn’t stem their momentum.”

McCall admitted the setback at Sandy Park had hurt the club as they continue their desperate battle against relegation.

“When we looked at the Exeter performance properly, it was really frustrating to see our lack of intensity at crucial points,” McCall said. “We were outworked by Exeter so fair play to them for that, but it’s something we don’t want to happen.

“We want to play with intensity and properly work hard and as we saw here that gives you a lot of good things in rugby. We enjoyed it and we want to enjoy our rugby. We did that in the first 30 minutes and got a lot of rewards. The second half was very disjointed because of all the injuries.”

PA

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