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- Aviva Premiership
- 27th Sep 2009
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Vicarage Road
- Att: 7,777
Eye concern for Borthwick
England captain admitted to hospital after suffering injury to right eye
England captain Steve Borthwick is expected to be out for up to a month after receiving a kick to the face from Olivier Azam during Sunday's Guinness Premiership match between Saracens and Gloucester.
There was no immediate concern for the sight in Borthwick's right eye but, having applied five stitches, club medics transported him to London's Moorfields Hospital for closer examination of his eye ball and socket.
And he will under go further tests on Monday to establish the full extent of the damage.
After studying video footage of the incident, Sarries head coach Mark McCall suspects Azam may have deliberately kicked out at Borthwick in a 13th-minute ruck.
McCall said: "We have had a quick look at it. We are concerned at the way it occurred and it would appear it may have been a deliberate act of foul play.
"Steve is at hospital to see if there is any damage to his eye-socket.
"It is more than a cut. His eye is completely closed over and at this stage we don't know how badly damaged it is.
"The video footage we have seen so far would appear to be reasonably clear.
"It is something nobody wants to see. Steve was on the ground and pretty much defenceless in the position he was in."
Azam denied deliberately kicking Borthwick, explaining he had lashed out with his right leg because his left ankle was being twisted at the bottom of the ruck.
"I didn't know I did it. Someone twisted my ankle but I didn't know I touched him," the hooker said.
"Of course (it was accidental)."
Saracens nevertheless defied the loss of Borthwick to go top of the table with a fourth straight victory - their best-ever start to the Premiership season.
Replacement hooker Schalk Brits scored the decisive try after 67 minutes and fly-half Glen Jackson chipped in with 14 points.
"We are under no illusions that we are playing the best rugby in the league but this is a brand new squad and we are building from the bottom," said McCall.
"We have made ourselves unbelievably competitive. It is important we continue to win but everyone in the changing room knows we can improve."
Gloucester had taken an early lead through Rory Lawson and maintained that advantage until Brits barged over.
Nicky Robinson kicked three penalties and a conversion but he missed with an injury-time drop goal that would have earned the Cherry and Whites a draw.
"I thought we had done enough to win the game," said Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath, who insisted he had not seen the Borthwick incident.
"We put a huge amount in but didn't get a huge amount out of it."
|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Wasps|
|16:30||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Sunday 30th November|
|13:00||London Irish vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Northampton|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Sale|
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Bath|
|15:00||Northampton vs Leicester|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Wasps 29 - 22 Bath|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester|
|Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish|
|London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle|
|Friday 10th October|
|Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins|
|Sunday 5th October|
|Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter|
|Sale 25 - 14 Wasps|
|Saturday 4th October|
|Gloucester 33 - 16 Leicester|
|Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Bath 21 - 11 Saracens|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com