Paolo Odogwu needs time to hit the heights of form he showed before the Six Nations having missed out on an England cap, says his Wasps boss.
The powerful 24-year-old back was selected by Eddie Jones back in January after stunning Premiership form, but then left to sit in England’s hotel with no game for 11 weeks.
So ahead of Wasps’ European Champions Cup last 16 tie against Clermont this weekend coach Lee Blackett warned not to expect immediate fireworks from the snubbed Odogwu.
Paolo Odogwu needs time to hit the heights of form, according to Wasps boss Lee Blackett
Odogwu was called up for the Six Nations, but then left to sit in England’s hotel with no game for 11 weeks
‘For him to deservedly go away and then spend 11 weeks without playing, it’s going to take him a little bit of time to get him back to the form we got him to,’ said Blackett.
‘Hopefully he can do it on the weekend. I’m sure he can. From a club’s selfish point of view it’s frustrating he wasn’t able to get some game-time for England.
‘Paolo was given reason why he didn’t play, and that’ll stay between those guys, but I don’t think he was a million miles away by all accounts.
Blackett (left) warned not to expect immediate fireworks from Odogwu, who was denied his first England cap by Eddie Jones (right)
‘I don’t think Eddie would have kept him in if he didn’t like him. He’s done some pleasing things.
‘He was frustrated not to play as any player would be, but I think overall he’s come back excited to get back and play, but I really think he enjoyed the experience.’
Ahead of the knockout stages European organisers have banned face-to-face celebrations, said there should be no post-match gatherings in changing rooms and in the event of Covid cases forcing a cancellation the club not at fault will progress unless there are other mitigating factors.