1stXV v Coventry, Championship Cup, Sat Sept 21st, 15:00, Match Preview
This Saturday Ampthill welcome Coventry to Dillingham Park for the Club’s first ever Level 2 fixture. The season begins with 3 Championship Cup Pool Stage fixtures before the league season commences in 4 weeks times.
Last season Coventry recorded a Played 22, Won 8, Drawn 1 record to finish 8th, higher than any other promoted Club since the 12-team format was established.
Having strengthened their squad in the close season with 8 former Premiership or Pro 12 players and a brand new artificial pitch installed at Butts Park, their target will surely be finishing higher in the league table.
Director of Rugby, Mark Lavery comments “We have completely restructured the rugby programme and this has led to a major upheaval to the Coaches and Playing Staff. However, pre-season has been good but it will take some time for the new systems to bed in and we are still a couple of players short to complete the squad.
We haven’t played any pre-season games so this is the first run out for the squad which will give us the chance to look at the number of the new players and combinations in a competitive match.
11 new signings make their debuts including Loose Head Prop Ben Christie on Dual Registration from WASPS. I think it’s important that our members and fans get behind the new boys on their first appearances at Dillingham Park. I am sure it will take a while to come together but I am confident that we are building a foundation to compete in the future.
Coventry recruited strongly this summer bring in a lot of Premiership and International experience into their playing group. I’m sure they will be challenging for the Championship Cup and I predict they will finish in the top 4 of the Greene King IPA Championship this season given the improved quality of their squad.
This is the first game Ampthill has played at the level in our history and it doesn’t get any tougher than Coventry”
The full squad (d=debut, dr=dual registered).
You can purchase tickets for the game here at a discount of £2.50 online until 09:00 on Saturday.
The clubhouse will be open from 10:30 in the morning for the RWC South Africa v New Zealand match.