Some good news for Old Glory fans as Jason Robertson, who sat out the last two contests with a hand injury, will be returning to the lineup in time for the match against Rugby United New York. While the team managed reasonably well without him against Rugby ATL, his presence was sorely missed in the loss to Toronto.
However, the injury bug has been spreading through the back line, with centers Doug Fraser and Ciaran Hearn both out for three and six weeks respectively. With them sidelined, the lineup will once again be shaken up.
Robertson will retake the flyhalf role, and will likely be followed by Thretton Palamo at inside center. The obvious move would then be to bring Renata Roberts-Te Nana up to outside center and put Mike Dabulas back at fullback. However, New York showed a willingness to really put the back three under pressure against Atlanta, so the coaches might choose to put Roberts-Te Nana at fullback to have keep some experience back there.
I mentioned in the roster preview before the season that the lack of depth in the backs was a concern, with only a few players to cover in case of injury. I didn’t expect to see the effects of it so quickly this season, but here we are. Fortunately, there are rumors of a couple new signings in the backs; hopefully, those players come sooner rather than later.