The South African number eight and lock Sam Carter have both been ruled out after failing to come through the return to play protocols following head injuries suffered against Toulouse, thus compounding the absence of captain Iain Henderson.
Wasps, who were below strength, struggled to contain Montpellier who played 74 minutes of the Champions Cup tie with 14 men, but with Will Porter proving a wily deputy for Dan Robson, they had enough wit to exploit their better moments with the power and deft touches of Barbeary, who was called into the England squad last month, proving the difference.
It was only a couple of years ago that the England coach, Eddie Jones, was wondering when the next wave of back rowers would roll in and now he has such reserves in the position he is overwhelmed with options.
Nick Timoney some in at ‘8’ and David O’Connor joins his brother Alan in the secondrow in making his first European start. Against that Jordi Murphy returns at openside after missing last week’s game as his partner was giving birth, as does the fit again Billy Burns, who captains the side against the club he played with for six years. There is also the possibility of a European debut for Academy fullback Ethan McIlroy off the bench.
The organisers are trying to rearrange the match, but three called off over the weekend saw Toulouse, La Rochelle and Lyon awarded bonus point victories over Exeter, Bath and Glasgow respectively while stressing no blame was attached.
It’s Round Two of European rugby’s Champions and Challenge Cups this weekend.
The fixture list has already been hit by a number of Covid-related cancellations, while Friday night’s Scarlets v Toulon match descended into utter chaos as the French team refused to play.
There is, however, plenty of rugby still happening.
Here’s what time everything kicks off over the weekend and what TV channel the European matches are on.