Coventry University Rugby League kick-off their season tomorrow as they take on Oxford Brookes University at The Place. We caught up with club president Dylan Bale as they look to put a dominant performance in and stake a claim for league title.
How excited are you for the new season?
We are very excited for the up-coming season, we have managed to retain a few of our players from last year and we have also recruited new lads this year. Our team is one of the strongest in the history of CURL with a strong chance of winning the league.
Do you feel the team are ready for Wednesday?
Yes, we’ve slightly changed preparation from last year. Last year, we started off playing touch and slowly integrating contact into the sessions to reduce risk of injury and worked on our structure. However, this year we started with contact from the second session and threw our lads in at the deep end. We believe this will have a positive effect as our physicality will now match our structure and we can hopefully move towards being the complete package.
How has being a part of Team Phoenix benefited your preparation?
At the moment, we have only had a couple of sessions, despite that you can still see the intensity it brings to training You can see that our Team Phoenix roster are really stepping up and proving why they deserve to be there. It has also given some of our development and new players something to push for.
Do you feel Oxford Brookes may have some weaknesses you can exploit?
We haven’t played Oxford Brookes for two years now. The last time we played them, we were the team that sent them into relegation, so I think they will look to be physical and get some revenge. We can probably use this to our advantage. If they want a physical game, it will suit us more. Our pack is one of the biggest and strongest and, with very fast and skilful backs, if they want to get in an arm wrestle with us then I’m confident we will come out on top.
Who are your players to watch this week?
We are incredibly lucky to have four scholars this year in our team so they’re an obvious choice. Dante Morley-Samuels, our newest 1st year scholar is very dangerous and could definitely score a couple tries. Hubert Derex – Briggs has never actually played a full game of rugby before but after 3 weeks of training, he is looking like one of our most promising players, we are expecting big things from him this season.
What is your score prediction?
38-10. With the squad we have, there is no reason we shouldn’t be putting points on teams. However, this is our first BUCS game so we will have to see where we are at and if we can bring the physicality that we are capable of.
Be sure to keep up with CURL tomorrow on Facebook and Twitter.