RUGBY UNION - Hitchcock returns for Coventry Rugby against Hartpury - The Coventry Observer

RUGBY UNION - Hitchcock returns for Coventry Rugby against Hartpury

Coventry Editorial 22nd Mar, 2024 Updated: 22nd Mar, 2024   0

COVENTRY Rugby have made one change to their starting line-up for the club’s trip to Hartpury University (Saturday, March 23 at 2.30pm).

Centre Tom Hitchcock, who was ineligible to face his parent club under the terms of his loan deal, is restored to the no.12 shirt with Ollie Betteridge moving to the bench.

This means that Cov kick-off against Gloucestershire-based Hartpury with the same starting XV that played the first hour of their win at Doncaster three weeks ago.

Hitchcock combines in midfield with the in-form Will Wand outside established half-back pairing Pat Pellegrini and Will Chudley.

Cov again field their most experienced front five where powerful props Toby Trinder and Adam Nicol plus last-time-out Championship player-of-the-round Jordon Poole seek to again provide a solid platform.

Rae opts for three backs on the bench where half-backs Evan Mitchell and Will Lane join Betteridge.

Hooker Suva Ma’asi replaces the injured Will Biggs in the no.16 shirt while Chester Owen will make his fifth Cov appearance should he emerge from among the replacements.

Rae said: “Going to Hartpury is always difficult and they’ve had another really good season.

“They really humbled us at home in the autumn and took our unbeaten home record which stretched back 18 months.

“That was a really disappointing day and we spoke about it this week at training and we are very clear that we need to bring the best version of ourselves to have a chance there on Saturday.”

Coventry’s line-up

Coventry: Wilson; Hutler, Wand, Hitchcock, Martin; Pellegrini, Chudley; Trinder, Poole, Nicol; Tyas, Nkwocha; Ball, Kvesic, Nayalo.

Replacements: Ma’asi, Chilvers, Nairau, Owen, Bartlett, Lane, Mitchell, Betteridge

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