RUGBY NEWS - English Premiership club Bristol are to make a formal complaint to World Rugby over Fiji's injury management of their star player Semi Radradra.
The Fiji centre is set to miss Bristol's opening two Champions Cup games against Clermont Auvergne and Connacht after suffering a leg injury during the Autumn Nations Cup victory over Georgia at Murrayfield on Saturday.
But Bristol rugby director Pat Lam said the situation could have been avoided if Fiji had taken him off, instead of leaving him on for the whole game.
Lam revealed that Radradra had subsequently suffered "a serious bleed" in his leg and could now be sidelined for three weeks.
"In the first minute of that game, Semi carried the ball, there was a big collision and I knew something was wrong because he was limping," Lam said.
"He pretty much limped through most of that first half, then they heavily strapped his leg.
"Fiji had control of that game, but he couldn't chase, he wasn't going at 100 percent. I thought he would come off, but they kept him out there for 80 minutes.
"What turns out as a dead leg that probably should have been iced and he would have been good to go this week, that 80 minutes of running around turned into a serious bleed when he got here, and the leg blew up."
Radradra joined Bristol earlier this year and played a key role in the club's run to the Premiership play-offs and in their European Challenge Cup triumph last season.
"The reason we have people like Semi is that we sign these sort of guys for these big games - and Bristol are about to go into two weeks of the biggest games in their history so far - and for him not to be there in that sort of situation is not ideal," said Lam.
"We will talk through the process with World Rugby of why we are disappointed. It is something that didn't need to happen. It was an avoidable situation."