Club talk

Wasps link – no sting in the tail, surely…?

For much of last season there was at times a fairly lively debate over the apparent lack of match practice endured by those players not selected for the match day squads. It was a concern for many supporters, especially with what was a much larger squad than we have this season…

So when I saw the team announcement and read comment from JW that:

Sam Harry, Alex Smit and Dan Rundle will be involved with Wasps in the A League game against Bath at Broadstreet on Monday night. This is an opportunity for them to get game time, and we are looking forward to working with Wasps as and when they require players while exploring opportunities for their players to get game time on dual registration with us to help our league campaign when required.

I was really pleased…all three players had a good pre-season, will be part of Cov’s National 1 campaign over the coming months and need to be playing to ensure they are ready for the call as and when it comes. Obviously, with the likes of Dan in particular, you kind of hope it’s sooner rather than later but that’s about loyalty to Dan and a belief that in the long term he’s a better bet than James Pritchard out on the wing…but for the time being JP has the shirt and it would be churlish to knock any decisions about selection when Cov score 8 tries and win by 40 points in their opening game of the season…

The Wasps link is one that might upset one or two supporters, but I’m guessing more will be supportive than critical. The first thing to welcome about it is that it was ‘announced’ in the first placed… last season it might just have happened with no official statement from the club, the news filtering down to the messageboard via a secondary, or more likely, tertiary source.

The fact that the ‘Team selection’ posts on the website have already become weekly updates on player news is a real positive for me. I was the first to have a pop at the club for not keeping supporters informed about what was happening on a player front last season, so it’s only right that I should recognise the progress that has been made in only a few weeks under the new management.

I know one of my many faults is that I’m somewhat anally retentive at times and attention to detail is a bit of an obsession. But sometimes it reaps it’s rewards…back in May at the first Supporters’ Club meeting, Rowland Winter was specifically asked the question from the audience as to whether Cov would be looking to develop links with Wasps. This is what I wrote in the post the next day…

  • Are there any planned links with Wasps? RW – in short no, but this is partly because the Academy remains in NW London. There is a hope that once it becomes established in the Coventry area something more positive will come about. Wasps originally made all sorts of promises but nothing has come of them so far. RW is against DRs in principle, he has better players in his own squad than many of the 19/20 year olds who would be made available. However, RW had had several talks with Matt Davies and once the Academy is in Coventry, Cov should embrace it, but only when they need to.

Spring evening provides Winter warmers…

So in fairness, yesterday’s announcement shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. I’m sure that the offer to allow Cov players to compete in the A league is something that has happened at fairly short notice, so it probably won’t have been something that was even being discussed at the time of the last members’ forum which is probably the reason why it wasn’t mentioned.

Personally, I think it’s a good move for Cov but I can well understand how there might be those who are a little more cautious in their enthusiasm. However, Wasps are here, and here to stay, so I do think we should work with them and not ignore the fantastic resources, both in facilities and players, that they possess. I’ve donned my helmet there as I stick my head up over the parapet and await some flak…but that’s just a personal belief and not one I’d expect everyone to agree with.

And for the three players concerned, well I bet they’re raring to play Wasps in their A league. Good performances against won’t do them any harm whatsoever.

The Aviva A League is a crucial part of the player development programme within the Premiership Rugby clubs, particularly for the young English players emerging from the Under-20s set-up.

Mike Hynard, Premiership Rugby’s Head of Academies and Development

Anyway…that’s enough of that.

 

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And so to Moseley…whilst it’s great that the home game will be the last before Christmas, it’s a shame for the players in a way that this first fixture is at Billesley Common. It would have been certain to draw in a far bigger than average gate and the roar from the stand that so many of us have mentioned would have been louder and more compelling than anything they will have heard at the BPA up to now.

That said, there will be a strong away contingent who will do the team proud…and I’m sure they team will do them proud to. It’s an important game, but there’s always a danger of reading a little too much into the result. Whatever the outcome, Cov’s progression is not going to be determined by what happens tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone involved…to the players, management team and supporters. It will be a fantastic afternoon, full of emotion and passion.

Whilst I won’t be there, I’ll certainly be glued to my tablet waiting for Sam’s updates, although one thing’s for certain…

…this time, I won’t be by the swimming pool.

 

 

Categories:Club talk

8 replies »

  1. Haha yes – really exciting to be playing Moseley again – hopefully for only one season as we swap divisions! My favorite memories were watching the Boxing Day games as a boy with my Dad, Peter Bell, Cyril Cramp, Bob Lee, Morris Teers etc. For away games, we stopped for lunch at Keith Whetstone’s house (former editor of the CET). So the banter was pretty well tuned by the time we reached the Reddings! Great to read the blog and keep in touch from New York! Thanks.

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  2. How are you getting Sue to allow you to do this ? Now Tim you must remember you are on holiday ! I did ask Sam about the Moseley blog but nothing came of it. Enjoy your break and see you when you return. Provided that our holidays do not overlap.

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    • I tend to write posts at times when it won’t impact on what we do…I probably would have written a couple more but the the beer is strong over here and the wine’s in plentiful supply! Looking forward to a catch up…will be at the Blackheath game for sure.

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  3. I think the co-operation with Wasps is very encouraging. I would personally love to see less “Your city, your club” (a thinly veiled snub to Wasps) and more “One city, one game”. We can achieve so much more by working together. Over time, it would be great to have a fully integrated framework for the developement of talented young players, sharing of facilities, community engagement etc etc. between Cov Rugby and Wasps. Coventry will be THE “City of Rugby” (again) if we co-operate at all levels and rid ourselves of petty rivalries.

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    • Hi Chris…probably the biggest welcome of all should be reserved for you…
      And a fair point about the use of the tagline…although you can understand why supporters have taken to it so strongly, fearing the unknown as they did…and I guess still do! The vision of Coventry being THE ‘City of Rugby’ is one that must be the ultimate goal for everyone involved in rugby across the city, although supporters will always be loyal to ‘their’ team. You’ll be more aware of that than most from your playing days with Cov…and there’s the small matter of the renewal of the rivalry with Moseley this weekend. Did you play in many derby games?…
      Great to hear from you…please feel free to comment as and when, you’ll always be welcome.

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  4. Another good blog, Tim, and so pleased you’re getting time to keep us amused and informed while you are on hols. I think Wasps being here is a good thing, as a rugby fan it’s good to go and see Premiership matches, but although they are in our city, I always feel like a neutral, as I really don’t feel that affinity that I do for our boys. It is good that Dan et al get some game time, and will help in development long term. Even after first game, Tom W gets a knock and is out for couple of weeks, so I’m sure the squad will get loads of game time, and it’s up to the likes of Dan and the others to make it difficult to leave them out once their chances come. Finally, it’s great to feel informed by the club, both with team news coming out early, and reasons for selection and, just overall, the whole feel of things is so much more open and inclusive. Even Coventry Telegraph realise there is more than one rugby team in our city, but I guess/hope that’s because they are getting more information to print. Enjoy the rest of your holiday

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    • Hi Roger, totally agree with everything you’ve said. Wasps shouldn’t be seen as a threat at all and given all their expertise and facilities, it makes sense to work with them not against them…I’m ambivalent to them as a club in terms of their results, but not in terms of the role they could have in helping us develop further…and I do think we’ll see a closer relationship develop between the two sides over the coming months. I hope so, anyway. Thanks for the comment, as always…..it is much appreciated

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