Head Coach Richard Hill admits he will continue to send out players on loan to gain valuable game time – and revealed young hooker Ollie Hayes is set for a spell at London Scottish.
Hill has this week allowed Andy Short to join Cornish Pirates on loan and fellow centre Sione Tu’ipulotu will also feature in the RFU Championship for Plymouth Albion. George Porter’s move to Plymouth, however, is no longer going ahead.
Hill believes the experience will be of great benefit to the players on the fringes of the first team and reiterated his desire to give Fiji international Ravai Fatiaki more rugby in the coming months.
He said: “Andy Short is a very promising young lad and I have told him he is definitely in our plans for next year, there is no question about that. Playing for the Cornish Pirates, who play some good attacking rugby, will do him the power of good.
“At the moment, unless we get injuries, our two centres are Dale Rasmussen and Alex Grove. They are playing well together.
“If one of those gets injured I need to see Ravai at this level to see if he can be a Premiership player. He is here on a short-term contract until the end of May and I have got to decide whether to extend his contract at the end of the season.
“Because there are no A League fixtures, I need to find the likes of Andy Short rugby.
“We also have Sione at Plymouth Albion and Ollie Hayes could be going to London Scottish soon to get game time.
“We need one or two of these lads, who are on the fringes of the first team, to go and get regular rugby at top RFU Championship teams.”
Meanwhile, Hill revealed he expects new recruit Blair Cowan and Fatiaki to feature against Saracens in the LV=Cup on Sunday, January 29.
He added: “Blair has settled in well but unfortunately he is not qualified for the Amlin Challenge Cup.
“It’s the same with Ravai; neither has been eligible for Europe so they have had to be patient.
“But I expect both to play against Saracens and also against Ospreys. That is my first opportunity to see those to play at real top quality level.”
“Andy Short is a very promising young lad and I have told him he is definitely in our plans for next year, there is no question about that. Playing for the Cornish Pirates, who play some good attacking rugby, will do him the power of good…"