Radical positional switch on the cards for Wallabies star after another injury setback

David Skippers
Angus Bell Waratahs SRP 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Waratahs and Wallabies front-row Angus Bell.

The Waratahs have confirmed that star front-row Angus Bell will not play for them again this season after he reaggravated an old toe injury during Saturday’s loss to the Brumbies in Canberra.

It is the third time that the 23-year-old has sustained the same injury, and now there is talk of him making a radical positional switch in a bid to avoid the same fate again.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bell was seeing a specialist in Brisbane on Wednesday for advice on potential foot surgery which would hopefully heal the injury and try to get him back in time for the Wallabies Tests against Wales and Georgia in Australia in July.

Radical suggestion

However, while the Waratahs said it’s too early to speculate what the long-term effects of the injury will be for Bell’s career, former Wallabies loose forward Stephen Hoiles has suggested that Bell and the Waratahs consider changing positions from the front-row to the back-row in a bid to take pressure off his foot.

“I heard a bit of talk that they have to go and have a look at how they fix this toe long-term,” Hoiles said on Stan Sport’s Between Two Posts show. “He puts a lot of pressure on the injury he has got [from] scrummaging.

“Is there a thought process that he might not be able to play prop? He’s good enough to play other positions. That is something that is going to need to be considered now.

Wallaby reaggravates old injury in Waratahs’ defeat to Brumbies

“I’m not speaking out of school here. This is his third time he’s injured that same toe. He’s gone and had part of it removed the second time around. They’ve removed a part of the body, so he doesn’t have the injury that occurred on the weekend. It’s quite an unusual one.”

The Waratahs have not discussed the matter of switching positions with Bell yet but fellow forward Jed Holloway, who plays with Bell for the Waratahs and Wallabies, feels the prop could make a successful transition to the back-row.

“If that was a worst-case scenario and that was something he was weighing up, he’d be a world-class back-rower,” Holloway said.

“He could even jump into the second-row. He’d probably need to lose about 10 kilos, but he’s got the body shape for it. It might make him look a little bit better, which he’d probably love.

‘He loves scrums’

“I know how much he loves scrums, so he’d probably be the first one to tell you to stick it somewhere. You could put him on the wing. He runs faster than half our backs anyway. Scrumming doesn’t define how good he is as a rugby player. He’s super talented.

“It’s tough for Gus. He’s had a rough trot with that foot. He’s in seeing the specialists, but he’s a massive part of our team. We definitely feel for him.”

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