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Richard Hill to miss Bath game

24 December 2003

On Saturday whilst captaining England to victory over the New Zealand Barbarians, Saracens' Richard Hill sustained a cut to his face - which required 13 stitches - and a broken nose in separate incidents.

Richard returned to his club on Monday to be examined by the Saracens Medical Team to determine whether or not he would be available for the club's important home fixture against Zurich Premiership leaders Bath at Vicarage Road on Saturday 27th December.

After being referred to a specialist in London later that evening, Richard has been withdrawn from selection for the game, although the true extent of his injuries will not be known for a few days due to excessive swelling around his face.

"The doctor told me that if I was to play on Saturday and suffered a further blow it could cause permanent damage," explained Richard this morning. "He advised me not to play this weekend which I am obviously bitterly disappointed about as it is a big game for the club and I was desperate to be involved."

Of the incident, in which Richard appeared to receive a forearm in the face, the influential World Cup Winning flanker would refuse to be drawn further insisting that he wants to focus his energy on returning to club action as soon as possible.

"The incident is being dealt with in the appropriate manner by the relevant people," stressed Hill. "My concern is now getting fit for Saracens as soon as possible and being cleared to play on New Year's Day against Leeds."

As far as Richard is concerned the matter is now closed.

Saracens face Bath on Saturday 27th December and Leeds Tykes on Thursday 1st January (when the Rugby World Cup will be on display) with both games being played at Vicarage Road Stadium, kicking off at 3.00pm.