by John Butler
CAMBRIDGE will be making just their fourth visit to Butts Park Arena on Saturday when several recent friendships will be renewed.
Links between the two clubs grew considerably during the close season, most notably the arrival at Coventry of Rowland Winter as rugby director after guiding Cambridge to the National League 2 South title and promotion back to National One.
Brendan Burke also made the move from Volac Park to join Cov as player-backs coach along with flanker Brett Daynes – returning after a season’s absence – full-back James Stokes, whose birthday falls on the day of the game, and centre Corey Hircock.
On the opposite side of the coin, as it were, currently wearing the No.10 jersey for Cambridge, and kicking a lot of points, is Jack Green who joined Cov in the 2010/11 season and made 38 appearances overall for the Blue & Whites before departing in 2012/13.
Cambridge were last in National League One in season 2012/13 and return with Ross Stewart, from Northampton Saints, as director of rugby in place of Winter.
Centre Adam Barnard operates as player coach, while quite a high number of players from last season’s squad were retained including Green’s experienced half-back partner, scrum-half Stef Liebenburg.
Also listed among the Cambridge squad are winger Mike Gillick and scrum-half Ross Kevan, were were both briefly at the BPA.
Last Saturday’s 36-0 win over Fylde was by far the most emphatic of the four achieved to date by Cambridge, whose one away success was gained back in early September at Rosslyn Park.
Saturday is just the seventh meeting overall between the two clubs, and currently Cambridge – whose nickname is Blood and Sand – lead 4-2, having won all four of the first ones played. Cov changed that by recording a double in 2012/13, winning 37-5 at Butts Park and 41-21 away.