With the notable exception of flying winger David Opoku, the Butts Park Arena faithful are yet to see much of the next generation of Coventry Rugby’s backline talent.
But according to head coach Alex Rae, centre Leo Jowett, half-backs Theo Mannion and Fin Ogden are all working hard in training while aiming to follow Bluecoat School product Opoku into Cov’s starting line-up.
Cov’s boss has also been keeping a watchful eye on how his rising stars are faring while gaining valuable National League experience out on loan at a range of clubs with Ogden leading the way at National One Leicester Lions.
“Fin has started the last couple of games after coming off the bench for Lions before that,” he said.
“He is our third scrum half at the moment behind Will Chudley and Will Lane and is waiting patiently and learning from them all the time.
“The easy thing would be just to keep him with us in case either of the other two get injured, but at his stage of development it’s really important that he goes out and plays to get better.
“He’s training really well and is doing all the things we’ve asked of him, but to get time on the pitch alongside that is invaluable for him.
“Leicester Lions play a decent brand of high-tempo rugby and he’s playing with Dan Lewis in a decent level of rugby where he is getting exposure to managing games so he’s ready to play for Coventry either when we need him or when he pushes his way in.
“He’s training with them two evenings a week so we look after him a bit when he’s with us so he doesn’t do too much.”
Fly half Mannion and midfielder Jowett both joined Cov from local club Berkswell & Balsall and they are currently showing the understanding developed through their formative years while on loan at Dudley Kingswinford – the club from which 20 years ago Cov plucked future England no.9 Shaun Perry.
“DK play at a good standard one level below Leicester Lions in National Two,” Rae said.
“They’re finding it a bit tough this year after recent promotions, but both boys are going well over there. Like Fin they train with DK two evenings a week and have been playing on Saturdays for around a month now.
“They’ve lost a couple of games to the weather but both have started a couple now and also made appearances from the bench.
“At their age you learn best by playing men’s rugby alongside good players and you can really see the difference in them already.
“When you have the carrot of playing at the end of the week it tends to spur you on in training and it also gives you the chance to make mistakes and learn from them so it’s been great for all of them.”
Tickets for Coventry’s Championship clash with Nottingham on Boxing Day are available from: https://www.coventryrugby.co.uk/tickets/matchday-tickets/