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macburnieCOVENTRY’S Nighthawks went down 33-21 to Cambridge University last night in a promising first outing of the season.

The Cov squad – a mix of senior, development and guest players – showed plenty of spirit and endeavour to come back from 28-0 down in the first half to 28-21 before conceding a fifth try to the Light Blues.

“It was a great exercise to see how our younger players and wider squad players have progressed,” said director of rugby, Rowland Winter, “and we are grateful to a few guests who joined us with Broadstreet, Nuneaton and Coventry University, in particular, providing players who easily stepped up to the level required.

“Our development players will now continue their loans and we will review the standard they are playing at around Christmas. Some will need to be tested at a higher league level to help their progression.”

Centre Callum MacBurnie (pictured) returned from injury and played a valuable 50 minutes. He will now join Joe Foreman at Birmingham & Solihull for a period on loan to get back his match fitness.

Jay Heath and Alex Smit also played last night, and they will continue their loans to South Leicester, where they are getting regular game time.