Coventry are in defiant mood ahead of the visit of second-placed Exeter to the Butts Park Arena tomorrow as they begin a four-match run-in to the end of the season with their National Division One future still not secure.
With one relegation place to be settled, last week’s 32-13 win at Otley afforded Cov some breathing space in a scrap which now involves four other teams – Plymouth Albion, Rotherham, Esher and Moseley, And with all their remaining games against sides above them in the table, Cov are determined to secure safety as quickly as possible starting with tomorrow against an Exeter side still harbouring hopes of overhauling league leaders Leeds despite a surprise defeat at Moseley two weeks ago.
“It’s going to be a tough game, full stop,” said rugby director Phil Maynard.
“Exeter will be going full out for it in case Leeds slip up and will want to make sure they don’t make the mistakes they made at Moseley.
“We have got to scrap out a win or two and a few more points to be safe. But there is a good feeling among the boys and it’s in our own hands.”
Ben Toft and Kurt Johnson start on the wings in place of Lee Parry, ruled out by a knee injury sustained at Otley, and Will Hurrell who has been recalled by Leicester Academy for their game against Scotland on Sunday.
A third change from last week’s starting XV sees club captain Henno Venter return in the back row in place of Darren Clayton who – suspended for eight weeks at an RFU disciplinary hearing on Monday – may figure on the bench if Cov lodge an appeal after studying the official judgement on the case which they had still to receive yesterday afternoon.