Wasps v Toulouse: Weakened Premiership side face European postponement threat
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
Wasps boss Lee Blackett says that the Covid-hit club could still be seriously weakened for Sunday's European Champions Cup trip to Toulouse unless they can get players back from illness.
The club may struggle to field a team after four tested positive and had to pull out of the home defeat by Munster.
Adding to an already lengthy 17-man injury list, it left Blackett to fill a 23-man squad from just 25 fit players.
Wasps then lost Alfie Barbeary, Gabriel Oghre and Nizaam Carr to new injuries.
Having lost fly-half Jacob Umaga, number eight Tom Willis and locks Elliott Stooke and Sebastian de Chaves following Friday's Covid-19 tests, Wasps also had to play a man down for more than an hour following Brad Shields' red card for his high tackle on Dave Kilcoyne. And they may have to manage again without him on Sunday in Toulouse if he receives a ban.
Wasps said they considered asking for last Sunday's game to be postponed when so many lateral flow tests came back positive, but then some came back negative on the PCR.
But they could now be forced to request a cancellation of this Sunday's trip to the south of France - depending on how coronavirus testing goes this week.
"We're now back to the numbers game," Blackett told BBC CWR following Sunday's 35-14 defeat by an also Covid-weakened Munster.
"We'll have to go back to the sheds and look at our academy, as I don't think we'll have enough [players]."
Welsh side Scarlets were forced to concede their European Champions Cup game at Bristol earlier this month, with the vast majority of their squad in quarantine.
"I couldn't see this Munster game going ahead after we got some results back late Friday night," he added. "We didn't train and didn't get the thumbs-up that the game would be on until late on Saturday night.
"We then had 25 players to pick from and it didn't help losing Brad early on.
"Gabriel Oghre then felt something pop on his ankle and, with the other injuries, we'll have to wait and see.
"But that is all we have left. And I don't think we'll have enough numbers, but we will see."
Wasps' trip to face defending champions Toulouse is a repeat of the first of the now Coventry-based club's two European triumphs.
They were still based in High Wycombe in 2004 when Rob Howley's last-minute try helped them beat Toulouse at Twickenham, where they won it again in 2007, beating Leicester in the only all-English final.