Moseley head coach Ian Smith has hinted he will use Ollie Thomas primarily as a full back following the 25-year-old’s return to Billesley Common.
Thomas made his first appearance for Moseley since returning from an 18-month stint with Cornish Pirates in Saturday’s 22-13 victory over Esher when he replaced Andy Binns midway through the second half.
His first act, within seconds of coming on, was a trademark tiptoeing weave through a packed midfield to set up a Mose counter-attack, just as though he had never been away. His second was to chip a positional kick out on the full, just as though he had never been away.
Therein lie the vagaries of Thomas’ instinctive game. The former mini and junior has been brought back to strengthen the Moseley squad and will rival Binns and fly half Richard Vasey for a starting berth, and while Smith confirmed it is the No 15 shirt he feels most suits Thomas he also says Moseley’s prodigal son has some developing to do.
“He can undoubtedly slip in at ten if need be and something happens on the pitch,” the head coach says. “With his pace and skills [backs coach] Don [Caskie] and I played him at full back before he went full time. He has got some undoubted talents in that position and can be very effective but he has also got things to learn.
“Back play is all about making decisions, there are no black and white situations, play just develops and you have to respond as you see it. So for Ollie it’s a case of getting his core game the best it can be. Binnsy’s core game is very good, he is experienced and relaxed in what he does and comfortable in the role he has.”
Nevertheless Smith was reasonably content with Thomas’ half hour cameo although stressed he is not looking to hand Vasey’s goal-kicking duties to the new man.
“It was typical Ollie with his first touch. He has not played much and he will be frustrated by that so he was probably quite excited at coming back. We have to get him back into the fold and into our way of thinking, he knows what we are about but it will still take time.
“Ollie has to get in the side first but we have got complete confidence in Richard’s kicking. We have to make a decision on whether we look to take the pressure off him or whether he continues and we’ll speak to him about that.”
n?North Midlands Under-16s have rearranged their postponed game against East Midlands for Sunday November 9.
The match will be played at Long Buckby’s Station Road ground with a 2.15pm kick-off.