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STALWART hooker and head of Coventry’s thriving community rugby programme, Matt Price has been awarded a testimonial in recognition of his achievements and on-going commitment to the club.

The 34-year-old, who is in his seventh season at Butts Park and has made 174 appearances, will also extend his stay next season in a new role as player/coach with responsibility for the new Player and Coach Development Academy which will be launched later this week.

“Matt is our current most capped player, he is leading our ever-expanding community programme and he is developing his coaching with the club by kick starting our new Development Academy which will see the next generation of rugby players and coaches develop their skills,” said director of rugby, Rowland Winter.

“He is a committed leader who drives the team on the pitch and the future of the club off the pitch.

“He is a real asset for Coventry and I am delighted that he is beginning the transition into coaching whilst still contributing on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, second row forward Tom Poole has signed on for a sixth season with Cov, who have also confirmed the promotion to next season’s senior squad of loose head prop Jake Byrne from the development squad.

Poole, 28, joined Coventry’s 100 Club earlier this season and has been a tireless worker in the engine room of the pack, while 20-year-old Byrne has established himself as one for the future in his four first XV appearances so far.

Said Winter: “Tom is a club man, and a real grafter who has improved throughout the season and gives his all for the team and club.

“He does a lot of the unseen work and is a key part to our team succeeding.

“Jake is just starting his rugby journey and we see lots of potential in him. He has to continue to work hard so that he realises that potential, and he is in the best place to do that.”