Bates Keeping His Nerve over Carl's Fitness

Article excerpt

STEVE Bates insists he will not risk talismanic captain Carl Hayman until the All Black front-row powerhouse is fully fit.

For the second week running Hayman was a late withdrawal yesterday as the Falcons slumped to 22-15 home defeat to Saracens.

Plagued by continued hamstring trouble, Falcons rugby director Bates is keen for his captain and scrummaging pivot to clamber back to fitness as soon as possible, Bates said fellow prop Jon Golding suffered an Achilles injury to compound front-row troubles.

Bates said: "Carl's been really close both weeks, the problem in his hamstring has not been a muscle strain, but a nervous supply issue.

"He trained in the week and even on the morning of the game we were looking at him, but it's just the final step, that last hurdle, that is the problem.

"He trains fine, he runs around, but when it comes to scrummaging he has the reaction that causes the problem. The traumatized nerve issue causes tension in the hamstring when he scrummages and the reaction to that has kept him out. …