Albion star Stupple facing lengthy spell on the sidelines
ALBION back-row forward Herbie Stupple is facing missing a large part of the season due to a shoulder injury.
The 21-year-old powerhouse had been in impressive form for Albion in their opening two matches.
But he damaged his shoulder in the club's narrow defeat at the Cornish Pirates on September 9 and will undergo surgery today.
"Herbie Stupple could be out for a while," admitted Albion coach Nat Saumi. "He is having surgery on his shoulder.
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"It is a big blow, which is why we shuffled around (on Saturday) trying to use Rupeni (Nasiga) at six to take over from the work Herbie does on the pitch.
"We have got Wayne Sprangle as well, so we have got more depth now."
Saumi does not expect Stupple to be back before the autumn internationals when Albion are set to lose at least two more of their pack.
The Albion coach said: "I don't think he will be back but I am not sure. I will have to wait for the report from the doctor."
Saumi only foresees losing Canadian pair Brett Beukeboom and Aaron Carpenter during the international window in November.
The Albion boss is not expecting Fijian Rupeni Nasiga to be required for his country's games, which includes a match against England.
"He won't (go away)," said Saumi. "I will ask them to leave him out. It (the autumn internationals) is for new younger players, like Brett (Beukeboom). He has to go as he is being developed, but Rupeni has been playing for Fiji for a couple of years.
"Aaron is the captain (of Canada) so he might have to go, but it depends. I don't think Sean-Michael will go. I think he has given up international rugby. But we will have to wait and see."