Wasps: 11 players unavailable for Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs

Lee Blackett
Lee Blackett has guided Wasps to their first Premiership final since 2017

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has confirmed 11 players from his squad are unavailable for selection for their Premiership final against Exeter.

Those players have either tested positive for coronavirus or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Of those 11, Blackett said four would have probably been in the matchday 23.

"It's not ideal preparation but you could argue we'll be fresh," said Blackett, previewing Saturday's final.

"We've had two weeks' rest, and we trained really, really well yesterday.

"We've got 33 players to pick from. It's gut-wrenching for those who will miss out but the health and safety of players and families is more important."

Bristol Bears, beaten by Wasps in the semi-final on 10 October, were on standby to replace Wasps if the Coventry-based club were unable to fulfil the fixture.

On Wednesday, however, it was confirmed that Wasps would be able to participate.

Blackett said the results of the latest round of testing, which were all negative, came through at 02:30 BST on Wednesday.

"A fair few of us as staff were up at 2am and most of us never went back to sleep," he added. "You think you'd be able to get back to sleep after positive news, but it was the excitement and the realisation of what's just happened.

"Finals are emotional anyway and for us it's been such an emotional week. We needed to lower emotions yesterday.

"Everybody was excited to be back, but we needed to control ourselves because we need to save that emotion for the weekend."

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