Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

Harlequins’ sick list grows, Wasps’ Thomas Young looks to land of his father’s, Rob Baxter’s Exeter side pass ‘character test’ and Gloucester get one over Bath

John Kingston paused as he mulled over whether to put a precise figure on the list of unavailable Harlequins players for this match. Twenty-eight. How many of those would be anywhere near the first team is difficult to discern but, regardless, it feels an astonishing number. The guy subbing the report that included the figure had to ring to double-check it was not a mistake. Whether this tells us anything new about the nature of rugby today will be debated long and hard. As will whether Marland Yarde was included in the 28. It looks as if he is off to Sale. Kingston insisted he was a Quins player until they said so, but he did not insist he was staying. He left Yarde out for the second week running, and Yarde did not even turn up to watch. He’s off, all right. Michael Aylwin

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