Influential scrum-half Will Chudley has recovered from the sore back that caused him to miss Coventry Rugby’s draw with Harlequins last weekend and is available to face Hartpury.
According to head coach Alex Rae, Chudley’s late withdrawal from the Premiership Rugby Cup round two clash at the Stoop was precautionary and he has since trained without issues.
“We didn’t want to risk Will last week at this early stage of the season,” he said.
“He probably could have got through the game but there’s no need for us to risk anyone as we have plenty of depth and Will Lane stepped in and did an excellent job as we knew he would.
“Chuds has trained all week and he’s ready to go.”
Cov will however be without no.8 Sentiki Nayalo who was retrospectively cited for contact with an opponent’s head when entering a ruck against Harlequins.
The British Army back-rower’s previously unblemished record saw his mid-level offence handed a two-match ban which Cov hope will be halved following his subsequent attendance at a coaching prevention session.
With 13 players having started both of the blue-and-whites’ cup openers against Saracens and Harlequins Cov’s boss is also considering some squad rotation over the next fortnight.
“We’re pretty healthy at the moment but it’s the nature of things that you will always get the occasional bump and bang,” he said.
“We haven’t picked up anything major injury-wise from either of the first two cup games but may make one or two changes this week to freshen things up and give a couple of people an opportunity.
“We have a 34-strong squad who are all pushing each other and deserve the chance to play.
“We’re enjoying this cup competition and as I said straight after the game at Quins our draw there and the win over Saracens don’t count for much if we don’t go to Hartpury and back those performances up.
“The players have that focus about them – whenever we step on the pitch we are aiming to perform how we have spoken about in the week and produce a physical, direct, attacking brand of rugby.”
Hartpury have begun their cup campaign with a defeat at Gloucester and a win at Nottingham and therefore lie fourth in pool A three points adrift of Coventry and Harlequins who in turn trail unbeaten Gloucester by a further three points.
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