Skip to main content

Coventry Rugby Head Coach Nick Walshe has praised the Blue and Whites opposition ahead of their trip to Dublin on Saturday.

After defeating Birmingham Moseley 62-14 last weekend, Coventry travel to face a Leinster Development side at Energia Park and despite feeling positive about the win on Saturday, Walshe is cautious of what the Irish sides can produce.

He said: “I think they will be very physical, they will be committed at the breakdown and they will hammer that.

“They will be well organised, hungry, they are in an environment where they are coached very well, and they will be training these boys, especially the side we will be playing, with top class internationals and club players.

“It is going to be a real step up for us, but that is what we want, we had a good hit out and now we really want to be tested on Saturday and I am sure we will.”

As Coventry look to gear up their preparations for the Greene King IPA Championship season, Walshe believes the Butts Park Arena outfit are yet to face their toughest challenge.

He said: “Leinster are traditionally a team that will hammer the breakdown, the Irish teams are very good around the breakdown and physically.

“We have to keep working on all parts of our game because we know that performance last week wasn’t perfect, defensively me made three or four little errors but we have looked at that this week and we want to get a bit more flow in our attack and keep our set piece going.

“We are just one game in, we have got a lot to work on and this will be a step up, Leinster are the best team in Europe, they are European champions and I know this is their development side, but they will have good young players and the environment that they are in over there is high quality.”

Despite praising the Irish province sides, Walshe also admitted that the squad will need to up their game in order to come back to England victorious.

The former Harlequins scrum-half believes the side are capable of travelling over to Dublin, putting in a performance and coming away with another big win.

He said: “We are not here to lose games, we are going there to win the game. It will be tough, how we do is up to us.

“We have to get our stuff right and Leinster will be a quality outfit, but we have to focus on ourselves and make sure we step up a level, which it will be. We need a 20-30 percent increase from everybody on Saturday to come away with the result that we want.”

Reflecting upon Coventry’s curtain raising ten-try win last Saturday, Walshe believes the side still have a few things to work on despite a positive first run out.

He said: “I think it was a pretty good first performance, considering it was our first hit out, I thought we looked pretty sharp.

There was a lot of stop start in the game which didn’t help the flow but considering Moseley put out not far off their strongest side and they will go well in National One this year.

“I thought we dominated the game and probably thought we should have a few more tries and a couple of simple individual defensive errors for their two tries, so apart from that I thought they didn’t really look like scoring, so I was pretty pleased.”

Coventry fielded a number of their new signings for over 1000 Blue and White fans to feast their eyes upon at the weekend and the 43-year-old admits he was impressed by several of the player’s performances.

He said: “Looking back through I think absolutely everybody played well but it was good to see people like Scott Russell, a first game for us and he has come in and we took a punt on him, but I thought he did really well.

“The usual guys played well, and it was especially good to see Tony Fenner back to being the Tony Fenner that we know, relaxed and free from soreness that he has struggled with over the last year, but to be honest it was good to see all of the new boys getting out there.

“Junior Bulumakau scoring a couple of tries and Andy having a bit of an impact. It was good, I don’t want to single to many people out because actually I thought everyone put in a good shift.”