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COVENTRY Rugby can confirm the departure from the club of a trio of scrum-halves along with consultant defence coach Craig Newby.

Rhodri Adamson, Sam Grasso and Alex Smit are all leaving to pursue fresh playing challenges, while Newby is taking up a new appointment as director of rugby at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey.

“We want to thank all of them for their efforts and contributions to Coventry this past season, and we wish them well in the future,” said director of rugby, Rowland Winter.

“Craig brings detail and technical quality to his coaching sessions. He was happy to step in at short notice back in December and help tidy up our defence, and his work alongside Nick Walshe in this area has shown huge improvements in our performance and the team have really benefitted from his involvement.

“We wish him well with his new appointment at St John’s School, and we look forward to working with him again at some point.

“Rhodri has been a big part of our squad this year, he’s a great athlete and a skilful player, and he had quite a lot of game time, particularly in the early part of the season.

“He’s finished his studies and is moving down to London where he’s linking up with Richmond, which is a great opportunity for him.

“Sam is an outstanding player and put in some fantastic performances for us this season. He came over from Australia to travel around Europe, playing rugby, and he wants an opportunity to continue to develop his playing whether in Italy or in the UK. He will be a big asset to any club he joins.

“Alex needs more game time. He is finishing, university which created a couple of different commitments for him this season, so now is a good opportunity for him to establish himself by playing regularly at Leicester Lions and kicking on again.”

This leaves the number of retained players at 20 – Cliffie Hodgson, James Stokes, Rob Knox, Max Trimble, Tom Wheatcroft, Heath Stevens, Tony Fenner, Will Maisey, Pete White, Andy Brown, Phil Boulton, Jimmy Litchfield, Matt Price, Scott Tolmie, Tom Poole, Tom Jubb, Brett Daynes and Olly Povoas from the senior squad, along with Jake Byrne and Willie Priestley who made debuts from the development squad towards the end of the season and will continue to be involved at the club.

Players confirmed as joining Coventry Rugby to date are Sam Tuitupou, Alex Grove, James Neal, Dave Brazier, Harry Morley, Nile Dacres, George Oram, Luke Narraway, Jack Preece and Latu Makaafi.