DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter has named Coventry’s starting XVs for Saturday’s double-header at Butts Park Arena against Colchester and Bury St Edmunds with first appearances of the pre-season for centre Callum MacBurnie and second row Tom Poole.
The games offer the last opportunities to impress before next weekend’s league opener against Loughborough Students, and Winter is looking to build on last week’s win over Newport with keen competition for places.
“We have had a great week in training following the strong performance against Newport,” said Winter. “The players are excited to get out in front of our supporters at Butts Park for a third week in a row, and they all have a big point to prove as they continue to compete for a spot in the squad for next Saturday’s league opener.
“Adam Canning is getting married on Friday, so is unavailable for selection along with Rob Conquest who is now only a week away from his return to the squad. Cliffie Hodgson and Pete White continue their rehab programmes, expecting to be available in approximately four to six weeks’ time.
“This weekend offers the final opportunity to experiment with players in positions or combinations that we haven’t looked at so far.
“Both Colchester and Bury St Edmunds will offer strong tests. They will both have big squads to play against us, so they will look to use that to their advantage against our sides who will play largely unchanged for the duration of each game.
“We look to repeat the strong performance that we saw in the first 60 minutes of last week’s game and we are looking forward to putting into action the parts of our game we have focused on this week.”
The action kicks-off at 12.30pm when Bury St Edmunds play Colchester. Coventry face Colchester at 1,45pm and then play Bury St Edmunds at 3pm all games are over two 30-minute halves with five minutes half-time.
Coventry (v Colchester): 15 James Pritchard, 14 Dan Rundle, 13 Callum MacBurnie, 12 Will Maisey, 11 Jay Heath, 10 Rhodri Adamson, 9 Alex Smit, 1 Jimmy Litchfield, 2 Matt Price, 3 Boris Stankovich, 4 Brett Daynes (captain), 5 Tom Poole, 6 Sam Harry, 7 Sam McNulty, 8 Ali Bone.
Replacements: 16 Will Priestley, 17 Jake Byrne, 18 Cameron Clarke, 19 Jacob Knight, 20 Sam Smith.
Coventry (v Bury St Edmunds): 15 James Stokes, 14 Corey Hircock, 13 Rob Knox, 12 Tom Wheatcroft, 11 Max Trimble, 10 Tony Fenner, 9 Sam Grasso, 1 Andy Brown, 2 Scott Tolmie, 3 Phil Boulton, 4 Tom Jubb, 5 Brendon Snyman, 6 Eoghan Grace (capt), 7 Olly Povoas, 8 Darrell Dyer.