RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby retain three more players for 2024/25 season - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Coventry Rugby retain three more players for 2024/25 season

COVENTRY Rugby have confirmed three further members of last season’s squad will remain at the club for the 2024/25 campaign.

Props Vilikese Nairau and Eliot Salt plus scrum-half Will Lane have all signed on the dotted line to form part of Alex Rae’s squad next term.

And Rae heaped praise on all three players as his squad continues to take shape following a third-place finish last season.

Rae said: “Billy has done so well since arriving here. It was all a big shock with him never having been out of Fiji so he was always going to take time to adapt and settle in but he’s done brilliantly.

“He’s got a huge amount of potential; with lots of hard work and time in our environment the sky is the limit for him.

“Wills had to be really patient behind Will Chudley waiting for his opportunity.

“He conducts himself really well everyday striving to get better and from when he first arrived his development has been really good.

“He’s hungry now to fight for that starting spot and show everyone how good he can be.

“Salty has done really well moving up from BUCS rugby which is a big step for a front row.

“He’s got all the ingredients to be a top tight-head prop and his and our job now is to make sure he works incredibly hard and pushes on again.”

After joining Cov midway through the 2023/24 season, Nairau has quickly become a popular figure with the Butts Park Arena faithful.

The powerful Fiji under-20s representative can play on both sides of the scrum and has made a handful of appearances for his first English club.

Lane, who has made 39 appearances for the club, will battle it out with the returning Josh Barton and young prospect Fin Ogden for the no.9 shirt.

Lane said: “I’ve learned so much from Will [Chudley]. I’ve been very privileged to pick his brains about rugby stuff and also spend time with him off the field as he’s also a great human being.

“Going forward I hope to implement both my own take on the game and some of what he’s taught me and I’m buzzing to have re-signed for a third year.”

Tighthead prop Salt joined the blue-and-whites from Cardiff Met University and quickly found himself in the club’s no.3 shirt following autumn injuries to Ollie Andrews and Adam Nicol.

He added 11 starts to the same number of appearances from the bench during a campaign that saw Cov clinch back-to-back top-three finishes.

Salt said: “I’ve really enjoyed my first season here at Cov. Everyone has been so welcoming and we’ve had a pretty successful season so signing for another year was a bit of a no-brainer.

“Even though it was a bit of a baptism of fire early on and I’ve had to learn fast I’m really happy with the amount of game-time that I’ve had in my first season in the Championship.”

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