Paolo Odogwu’s lack of game time worries Wasps boss

Adam Kyriacou

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett is concerned by star back Paolo Odogwu’s lack of game time but is confident he’ll return from England a better player.

Odogwu has yet to be involved in the Six Nations despite being a member of Eddie Jones’ 28-man squad after earning his first senior call-up on the strength of his dynamic club form at centre and wing.

Wasps’ Premiership clash with Gloucester on Saturday will be his 50th day without a game and Blackett has misgivings over his inactivity.

“We want Paolo to put himself in a position to play for England. He’s away with them and it’s up to Eddie what he does with him, they have control of him,” Blackett said.

Worried about his game time

“From our side, I genuinely think he’ll come back a better player. But if I have any slight doubt I’d just be worried about his game time, 100 per cent. I thought that he got himself into really good form.

“But hopefully he can take any learnings he’s had from the England environment, the speed they’re working at, bring them back here and hopefully improve as a player.”

Jones has kept faith with his tried and tested for the first three rounds of the Six Nations, even against Italy, who are the weakest team having suffered 30 consecutive defeats in the Championship.

Wasps have yet to give a timeframe for Jack Willis’ return after the England flanker underwent successful surgery on the serious knee injury sustained against the Azzurri on February 13.

“We’re pretty pleased with what came well from the operation. The early indications are that we should be pretty happy with how it went,” Blackett said.