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Coventry Rugby boss Alex Rae says his side are prepared for an old-style battle in the mud when they visit Nottingham on Sunday afternoon.

The round 19 Championship clash takes place at the Archers’ Lady Bay home which – while not quite as badly hit as Worcestershire Cricket’s New Road – has been badly flooded during the course of this wettest of all winters.

And following more prolonged spells of heavy rain during March and April, Rae is expecting Saturday’s Grand National not to be the only sporting event taking place on heavy ground this weekend.

“We’re expecting to find a really heavy pitch at Lady Bay,” he said.

“It flooded really badly earlier in the winter and Nottingham have worked incredibly hard to sort things out there and tidy up.

“Nottingham like to play a lot of open rugby and I imagine that won’t change despite the ground, but we’ve had so much rain I can’t imagine it will be anything other than very soft underfoot.

“We’ve got to go there and assert our game on them which is something we’ve done really well to teams in the last couple of months.

“We need to have a dominant set piece like we did in the mud at Doncaster. We’re very flexible in how we go about things – when it’s wet and muddy the biggest thing is to be very physical, kick well and ensure your lineout and scrum operate well.

“Although we’re one of the highest points scorers in the league I’m confident we can vary our approach as required, bring plenty of energy and adapt to the challenge in front of us.”

Rae’s team are unbeaten since their February setback at Caldy, a sequence which has seen the big scalps of Doncaster and Ealing come Cov’s way.

But he says all talk of winning runs and potentially extending this sequence to the end of the season has somewhat passed him by.

“Someone mentioned earlier that we’ve won five games on the bounce but we’re very much working week-to-week so I haven’t really taken too much notice of it,” he said.

“We’re focusing on our training then transferring that into our performance at the weekend as we did against Cambridge when we had a really good week in the run up to the match.

“It’s that time of year when players can sometimes drop off a little as they have their eye on the end of the season, but we are still fully focused on what we’re doing and driving improvement which is pleasing to see.

“The longer the season goes on the more you look back and kick yourself about some of our performances earlier on. But we can’t do anything about that now so all we can look at is continuing to improve week on week.”

Tickets for Coventry’s next home game against Bedford on Saturday April 20th are available from: