Cambridge Rugby Head Coach Richie Williams has revealed his side to face Coventry in Saturday’s Championship Rugby clash at Ellgia Fields. Fan favourite Ben Adams will run out for his 100th appearance whilst Premiership loanees bolster William’s side.

Coming back to match action after a week’s break, William’s was keen to reflect on his side’s last second loss to Nottingham at the start of the month.

“We came ever so close to winning our maiden Championship fixture away against Nottingham on Friday 1stDecember. It was a performance built on some of the qualities that has become our DNA over the past few seasons. Besides Bedford, Nottingham are another team that have been scoring pretty freely all season. To restrict them to just 22 points was encouraging, as was the fact that we gave ourselves a good opportunity of winning the game in the final stages.”

“We scored three really well worked tries in the first half, with the pick of the bunch coming from centre Sam Hanks. The others were scored by Eli Caven and the impressive Sam Edwards at scrum half.”

Despite a strong start, Cambridge were unable to hold on to their lead in the second half with the hosts stealing the win in the dying seconds of the game;

“We were all disappointed by the second half performance, where we came up just short in a number of areas. The lineout, which has become a super strength of ours, didn’t function to the level that was expected and as a result, we were not able to build much momentum or field position. In saying that, we gain a losing bonus point in a notoriously difficult environment.”

Looking ahead to this week’s clash, currently sitting in seventh place, Coventry travel to Cambridge for Cambridge’s final home match of 2023;

“This week we face a wounded Coventry, who will be reeling from their recent heavy loss at home against Hartpury. On paper, they have a very dangerous squad, packed full of Premiership experience. Like Ealing and Doncaster, they are another fully professional outfit that have high aspirations.”

The week’s break from competition has also allowed Williams the opportunity to inject some new additions into his squad.

“We have decided to inject some more Premiership experience into the group over the past few weeks and we are starting to see the benefits. So far this season, we have been fortunate to have three quality players join us on dual registration from Premiership clubs. All three players are with us on long term agreements and have added considerable value to our group. Geordie Irvine played several games for us last season and the season before, and half backs Jamie Benson and Sam Edwards have enhanced our attacking game.”

“We will also have another three players joining us from Bath Rugby. All three players have played Premiership Rugby and will hopefully energise the squad. Firstly, we welcome tight head prop Kieran Verden who will be joined by ex-England U20 captain and second row Ewan Richards. The third player is powerful number eight Nahum Merigan. Jake Garside from Northampton Saints also steps out for the Blood and Sand this weekend.”

“We are pleased to see the return of Ben Brownlie after serving his suspension and welcome back props Matty Collins and Seb Brownhill after recovering from injuries. Benji Hoppe also returns to the starting line-up.”

“The final mention this week rightly goes to Ben Adams, who will be making his 100th appearance for the club. I am sure all will agree, that since his arrival from Australia, he has been a fantastic ambassador for the club and is the embodiment of Cambridge Rugby.”

Tickets to Saturday’s match are available to purchase now via the Cambridge Rugby club website or can be bought on the gate. Fans can also enjoy a Christmas party and beer festival alongside the match with plenty of offers up for grabs.

Cambridge line-up:

15| Eli Caven

14| Kwaku Asiedu

13| Tom Hoppe

12| Matt Hema

11| Joe Green

10| Jamie Benson

9| Sam Edwards

1| Jake Ellwood

2| Morgan Veness

3| Kieran Verden (debut)

4| Kieran Frost

5| George Bretag Norris ©

6| Ewan Richards (debut)

7| Ben Adams

8| Benji Hoppe

Replacements

16| Ben Brownlie

17| Seb Brownhill

18| Matt Collins

19| Geordie Irvine

20| Matt Dawson

21| Jake Garside

22| Steffan James

23| Nahum Merigan (debut)