DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter says Coventry are on track going into tomorrow’s final pre-season game at Butts Park Arena against Championship opposition Rotherham Titans.
It follows a Development Academy game against Newbold-on-Avon, newly promoted to the National Leagues, which gives supporters a first opportunity to see back row signing Waita Setu in action following his arrival from Australia at the start of the week.
The double-bill offers a last chance to put down a marker for selection for next Saturday’s National League One opener at Hull ionians, and the team to play Rotherham sees Tony Fenner (pictured) start at full-back with James Stokes moving to the wing as Winter considers his options.
Loose head prop Andy Brown returns after missing out last week through illness, but second row Nile Dacres is carrying a slight knock and misses out while Max Trimble (toe), James Neal (quad) and Josh Palmer (knee) are also unavailable through injury.
“We are on track with where we wanted to be, everyone has worked hard over the last eleven weeks and the challenges that Rotherham and Newbold provide are a perfect way to finish our pre-season preparation,” said Winter.
“Rotherham have rebuilt and strengthened over the summer under Andy Key’s guidance with some impressive signings. I expect a tough game, but it is a great opportunity for the team to show they are ready to take on Hull next week.
“Newbold had a great season last year, winning promotion to Level 5, and they will be another test for our Development team which includes a handful of senior players.
“Waita has arrived, he and his family are very jet-lagged after their long flights earlier this week and he will get some game time against Newbold before beginning full training next week.”
Matt Price captains the side to face Newbold in the 12.30pm game with Tom Jubb starting in the second row as he returns to full fitness.
Admission is £10 (all season memberships and 16s & under free).
COVENTRY (v Rotherham Titans, 3pm): 15 Tony Fenner, 14 James Stokes, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Heath Stevens, 11 Rob Knox, 10 Will Maisey, 9 Pete White, 1 Andy Brown, 2 Scott Tolmie, 3 Phil Boulton (captain), 4 Tom Poole, 5 George Oram, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Jack Preece, 8 Luke Narraway.
Replacements: Phil Nilsen, Gabriel Oghre, Jimmy Litchfield, Cameron Gray, Brett Daynes, Olly Povoas, Dave Brazier, Sam Tuitupou, Anthony Matoto, Kwaku Asiedu.
COVENTRY (v Newbold-on-Avon, 12.30pm): 15 Cliffie Hodgson, 14 Louis Roach, 13 Joe Lane, 12 Tom Wheatcroft, 11 Max Titchener, 10 Ben Palmer, 9 Connor Adams, 1 Nathanael Titchard-jones, 2 Matt Price (captain), 3 Freddie Clark, 4 Tom Jubb, 5 Kailus Hutchinson, 6 Tom Price, 7 Sam McNulty, 8 Waita Setu.
Replacements: Willie Priestley, Jake Byrne, Phil Ackuaku, Myles Hibbs, Charley Robinson, Ciaran Grimmer, Sam Payne, Brendan Burke.