Bath‘s up and down season has not been helped by injuries to key men in their back line, with British and Irish Lion Anthony Watson and England international Semesa Rokoduguni both on the treatment table of late.

Watson ruptured his Achilles tendon against Ireland in the 2018 Guinness Six Nations, before re-tearing it later in the year, meaning that he has missed the entire 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season so far. As for Rokoduguni, he injured his knee ligaments in Bath’s 30-13 win over Newcastle Falcons back in February.

In their absences, both Joe Cokanasiga and Ruaridh McConnochie have shone, with Cokanasiga picking up four England caps and McConnochie going from strength to strength after transitioning over from the seven-a-side format.

According to SomersetLive, however, both Watson and Rokoduguni are in the frame for selection this week, when Bath take on Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday evening.

Both players will be keen to make up for lost time, but with Elliot Daly having taken hold of the England 15 jersey and Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Chris Ashton and Cokanasiga all impressing on the wing at different points during this season, Watson faces a race against time to get fully fit and show Eddie Jones his value to the squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

In addition to the trip to Sale on Friday, Bath host Wasps and visit Welford Road to take on Leicester Tigers in May, with those 240 minutes of rugby all that remains in Bath’s 2018/19 season.

Prior to the injury he suffered against Ireland, Watson had been a regular in the England XV, including playing three of his six most recent internationals at full-back, as well as starting all three Tests for the British and Irish Lions during their 2017 tour of New Zealand.

That versatility to cover across the entire back three could well help him make up for time this summer, with warm-up games against Wales, home and away, Ireland and Italy also providing an opportunity for Watson to prove his fitness and form ahead of the RWC.

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