RUGBY UNION: FORMER England international Louis Deacon has re-signed for Coventry Rugby to act as the club’s forwards coach, and he has Premiership ambitions.
Deacon, who joined the Butts Park Arena outfit in March last year, will guide Coventry’s forwards through this season and remain at the club for the 2018/19 campaign.
The 37-year-old was capped 29 times by the national side and made 274 appearances between 2000 and 2014 in a glittering career with Leicester Tigers.
He also guided England Under 20s to a Six National Grand Slam last year, and passing on his vast knowledge of the game could be crucial if Coventry are to gain promotion to the Championship later this year.
Speaking to the Observer, Deacon said the club’s main aim is to be playing in the Championship next season.
But he added playing in the sport’s highest tier is very much a long-term goal.
He said: “Our main goal is the reach the Championship. That is an ambition about the club that I like.
“The job still isn’t done yet, there’s plenty of work to be done. That’s where our focus is.
“But moving forward we want to be competing at the highest level. Whatever division we play in next season, it will provide us with a challenge.”
Coventry are currently 15 points clear at the top of the English National League One table having won 17 of their opening 18 games.
More crucially, Rowland Winter’s men have secured bonus points in 15 out of those 18 fixtures – a stat which has ultimately granted Cov such a strong lead at the top of the table.
Deacon said: “Historically, Coventry is a big club. Rowland sold me the long-term ambitions at the club.
“The quality of rugby that we’ve been playing has stood out for me. And that’s right across the board.
“It’s an exciting style of rugby and suits our players.
“At the moment I see Coventry as a team that works on a part-time basis but stand out as a professional outfit.
“Players are mixing rugby with their day jobs, and that allows us to attract two types of players.
“We’ve got a mix of high level men that are gradually making the transition into work, and those that are looking to progress in the sport too.”
Regular crowds of 2,000 have boosted Coventry’s efforts to gain promotion.
And Deacon said the club should never underestimate the impact that fans’ support has on the team.
“The support is fantastic and does give the guys a boost,” said Deacon.
“Now we have to make sure we don’t take things for granted, because that will lead to complacency.
“We need to focus on ourselves and take it one game at a time.”