Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter said England international winger Jack Nowell will be in contention for the European Champions Cup final against Racing 92 tafollowing a recovery from a foot injury.
Nowell sustained the blow during the semi-final of the tournament against Toulouse in the final week of September and was forced to miss the Premiership play-off game against Bath Rugby last weekend.
The 27-year-old has played 34 Tests for England and another two for the British and Irish Lions but his career has been hampered with injuries. However, Baxter revealed that Nowell has resumed training and is likely to play as Exeter aim to complete a double this season with Wasps being their opponent in the final of the Premiership that will be played on 24th October at Twickenham Stadium.
“We are selecting from a full strength side. Jack Nowell trained yesterday (Tuesday) and is in contention,” said Baxter.
“We look at all of it and take a long time on selection. We’ll look at how Jack played before that foot injury late on against Toulouse, how he played against Northampton when he scored a fantastic try, how he has played in other big games for us.
“I don’t think I have seen a winger play a better game in the Premiership final than Jack Nowell did last season. You look at that and you know what he’s capable of.
“We have to watch him train and assess it carefully to make sure he’s at the level to perform like that, but we also have to take into account performances of Tom O’Flaherty and Olly Woodburn.
“We’ve just got make sure we come up with the honest and best decision.”
Earlier, in the month there were nine positive cases reported in the Racing 92 camp but Baxter is confident that the organisers will make the right decision irrespective of the result.
“We are aware that they had a large number of Covid tests. We haven’t got any. The reality is that the meeting will only go ahead if Racing don’t have any further issues,” Baxter said.
“They’ve been in a camp in Corsica to prepare. A group went to Corsica and didn’t attend the game against Toulouse, although some did play against Toulouse.
“I imagine they’ve moved into a pretty good training base and are having a standard training week.”