CROWD favourite Rob Knox is determined to come back ‘stronger and faster’ for his fifth season at Coventry Rugby after signing a new two-year contract to remain at Butts Park.
After an up and down start, the 25-year-old three-quarter is enjoying a strong finish to the National League One season and feels he is in a better position to move forward now than for some time.
“It’s not been the best season for me – personally, I’ve probably been disappointed with it,” said Knox, who joined Cov from Barkers Butts in 2013 and was an ever-present in the side the following season before injuries restricted his progress.
“I’ve had a few injuries that probably shouldn’t have come about, but credit to the physios, I know now what I’m doing off the pitch and hopefully I can keep working on that and then next season be better than I have been in the last couple of years.
“I think this is the first time in a long time that I know what I’m doing off the pitch, which in turn should help me on the pitch. It’s more preventative, that’s the biggest thing – making sure I’m not getting injured.
“I think I’m going to give Sevens a miss this summer, I want to get my body right and come back to pre-season more up for it than I have been in the last few years.
“Hopefully time away will let me sort out my body and I can come back faster and stronger than I have been before and I can get back to where I was.”
Staying at his home city club was not a difficult decision for Knox, who is now enjoying a good run in the side and has an outstanding strike rate of 37 tries in 74 appearances for the club.
“I spoke to a couple of other clubs, but in the end it was the right decision to stay and I’m more than happy to be on board,” he said.
“It’s been nice to be back out there, the team’s going well and it’s good to be a part of it.
“You learn from the players around you, and especially the coaches, when to get in the right place at the right time and hopefully finish things off, but it’s more of a team thing – if the team is doing well, that’s the main goal and whatever I can do to help the team, I will.”
Does her prefer to play at centre or on the wing?
“I don’t really mind, to be honest. I’ve enjoyed the wing, Rowland Winter and Nick Walshe have been great about it and given me a free rein to which suits me down to the ground.
“I do like playing centre, but if it’s there or the wing, if I can go and get my hands on the ball that’s okay.
”Nick has been great, over the years I’ve had coaches – especially at school – who have been showy, but he’s very calm about things. I can go and ask him questions and talk about what I need to do, which helps me a lot.”
Knox acknowledges that expectations will be high next season on the back of the progress the squad has made and the new signings announced.
“I think we are definitely developing in the right direction, especially the things that are in place now off the pitch to help everyone stay injury-free,” he said.
“The extra training this season has been really good, especially on the Monday when we work on skills and in the gym, getting faster and fitter – everything comes down to those extra sessions.
“We’ve still got two games left, we’ve set our target to finish strongly and if we can do that then we can think about next season which, hopefully, should be really good.
“There will be expectations, but I guess there is every year with a club like Coventry.
“I think the difference this time is we will be a more settled side this pre-season whereas last year we were more of a whole new squad.
“We’re a tight group of lads now and, hopefully, with the new guys coming and some hard work we can hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to it.”