Coventry Rugby seek to take advantage of spring conditions over the remainder of the Greene King IPA Championship season, beginning with Saturday’s visit from Ealing (3pm kick off).
Despite their last-time-out reverse at London Scottish, seventh-placed Cov remain within touching distance of becoming the first newly-promoted club for more than a decade to claim a top half finish in English rugby’s second tier.
And according to director of rugby Rowland Winter, his team’s quest for a winning finale will see them revisit aspects of the attacking approach which characterised their National One promotion season.
“We’ve been a bit stuck between two styles of rugby over the last few weeks,” Winter explained. “Typically, the Championship approach has been to kick the ball, defend well, look for territory and play the percentages.
“What got us promoted last year was a faster, more free-flowing running game and over the last couple of months we’ve been flipping from one to the other and haven’t managed to find any middle ground.
“We’ve therefore decided that we are going back to what we are good at for the last five games of the season since we think it best represents of our brand of rugby.
“This week we’re really concentrating on making sure our game-plan from training comes through at the weekend and if we manage that we have enough quality to cause Ealing some problems.”
Those not involved in the Blue-and-White squad that comprehensively beat the RAF last Wednesday evening have enjoyed a short break since their club’s round 17 defeat at London Scottish.
And according to their director of rugby this enables Cov’s coaching group to select from a squad missing only its long-term injury victims plus the suspended Alex Woolford.
“Everyone is fit and fresh and we don’t envisage making too many changes to the side that played London Scottish,” he said.
“Saints have a Premiership Shield game on Monday, so Tom Emery and Jamal Ford-Robinson are not involved with us this weekend. We’ll then look at their situation again ahead of the game at Yorkshire Carnegie next weekend.
“New signing Will Owen is now fully fit and has impressed in training. He comes into the selection picture for Saturday against Ealing as does Max Trimble who played 80 minutes against the RAF last week, scored a try and created a few more and is looking really sharp.”
Saturday’s opponents are eight points behind London Irish at the top of the table. But with the two title contenders due to meet on the last day of the season, they remain very much in contention for the one available promotion place.
“We’re expecting Saturday to be really tough,” Winter confirmed. “Ealing have a fantastic squad put together by Ben Ward and are aspiring to become a Premiership outfit. They have worked very hard and spent quite a bit of money to establish a rugby programme that puts them at the top of the table.
“When we went down there we were the second-best team on the pitch to the tune of 60-odd points. While we have some work to do to turn that around, we are also really looking forward to playing them at the Butts Park Arena where our record is good.”
Advanced tickets for this Saturday’s Greene King IPA Championship clash with Ealing, preferentially priced at £18 (seated), £15 (standing) and £2 (ages three to 16) are available before 4pm on Friday from the Butts Park Arena ticket office on 02476 231001.
Entry without an advanced ticket is also available on the gate.