Injuries to Kieran Ball and debutant Dominic Waldouck marred a fifth successive victory for Oxford’s Men’s Blues on Wednesday.
The Blues ran in seven tries in a scintillating performance to continue a fantastic run of form with a 45-19 win against Major Stanley’s XV.
But the win was overshadowed by a pair of blows to players that Oxford consider key to their Varsity success on 7 December.
Waldouck, making his first Blues start after an injury-riddled term, went off just eighteen minutes into the game looking dazed, with a suspected concussion.
The centre’s first game for Oxford had been hotly anticipated: he signed a contract with Newcastle last April which allowed him to combine playing for the Premiership side with his Masters degree, and had been frustrated by niggles throughout the season to date.
The 30-year-old, who is likely to line up alongside Canada international Dan Moor in the centres at Twickenham, is no stranger to the big stage, having come off the bench in
Wasps’ 2007 Heineken Cup final win against Leicester.
He started in the Premiership final a year later, and his impressive form was rewarded with
a place on the England tour to New Zealand – although he didn’t make an appearance.
Since then, his career has fallen away somewhat, but he will be hoping that his injury does not prove too serious and that he can make a return shortly.
Ball, however, will be fearing the worst after being stretchered off just before half-time.
Cherwell understands he was taken to hospital on Wednesday evening for a scan.
The prop, who started in last year’s narrow defeat against Cambridge, has been an integral part of the Blues’ success this year, and it would be a huge blow on both a personal and a
team level if he were to miss out on Varsity.
On the night, Oxford were comfortable winners against the visiting side, with tries from Dan Barley (two), Hugo McPherson, Will Wilson, Alex Hogg, Ed Elvin and Tom Stileman
securing a routine victory.