Charlie, Jason and Andrew Out For The Season
Monday, November 20th 2006
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<TD style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Hodgson: out for season</TD></TR></T></T></TABLE>Champions Sale Sharks’ defence of their Guinness Premiership title was dealt a double blow over the weekend when Charlie Hodgson and Andrew Sheridan were ruled out for the rest of the season following their injuries sustained playing for England against South Africa.
Both players travelled back North straight after Saturday’s game and specialist analysis on Sunday confirmed that both players had suffered serious injuries.
Charlie Hodgson has ruptured his cruciate ligament in a repeat of the injury he sustained to his other knee in 2003, also whilst playing for England. Charlie will have an operation next week, before commencing a rehabilitation programme with the same specialist who saw his successful recovery last time.
Andrew Sheridan has a fracture to his ankle and associated ligament damage, and he too will undergo surgery within the next seven days.
Director of Rugby Philippe Saint Andre said, “This is a terrible blow for the players, for England and for Sale Sharks. Our thoughts are with the players at this moment, but we know that they will receive the very best treatment available to ensure that they return, for club and country, as soon as is possible. Of course their loss is a blow to our aspirations to retain our title, and also to our chances in the EDF and Heineken Cups. However, I have a strong squad here at Sale, and opportunities will now open up for some of our younger players to make a name for themselves. We will not be making excuses – we must instead be inspired by adversity.’
Sale Sharks CEO, Niels de Vos said, “ The international period has been brutal to Sale Sharks this Autumn. Last week we lost Jason White for the rest of the season with cruciate damage, and this week we have lost Charlie Hodgson to the same injury, also for the rest of the season. Andrew Sheridan has a very serious ankle injury and we will be lucky if we see him in a Sale Sharks shirt before May. To lose three of our most important players at this critical stage of the season is a savage blow. Combined with our home defeat against Newcastle on Friday, this has to be one of the worst weekends endured by Sale for many a long year, but we will not allow ourselves to be downhearted. Sport can be cruel sometimes, and the measure of true champions is the ability to triumph against the odds at times. I met with the coaching staff this morning, and they are more determined than ever to meet this challenge head on, starting with getting back to winning ways this Friday night at Edgeley Park against Harlequins.
England Head Coach Andy Robinson OBE said: "Everyone feels for Charlie and Andrew and we wish them all the best for their recovery. They are key members of the squad and they have contributed massively this Autumn. Their absence will be a real blow to England and Sale Sharks."