Three years ago Russell Earnshaw, then a recent arrival in the parish of Solihull, curled his lip when the notion of a player-sharing agreement was put to him.
It was his belief that Moseley’s nascent arrangement with Gloucester risked an unwanted distortion of the level two status quo. Indeed Bees had tried to get into bed with the men of Kingsholm a couple of seasons prior and found it an expensive and unrewarding experience.
However, as he surveys the current Championship landscape and prepares his squad for this weekend’s curtain raiser at Worcester, there is a definite green hue to Earnshaw’s outlook.
That can be explained by the fact that Bees have returned to the dual registration table following discussions with Jim Mallinder and Dorian West at Northampton, a deal that will see several young Saints don the Black and Gold in the 2010-11 campaign.
Indeed in the unforgiving world of second tier rugby a big best friend has become de rigeur with Nottingham, Bedford and London Welsh joining Moseley in partnership with various top tier clubs.
And Earnshaw, who is operating with
the smallest budget in the Championship, has recognised it is time for Bees to develop their own mutually beneficial arrangement.
“It depends upon the relationship, if you are getting someone week in week out it’s different to someone just coming and going,” he says. “The main goal at the end of the day is player development.
“If that player steps out of the Championship into the Premiership then great but it’s probably not best for him if he is just 24th man and he is not playing rugby.”
Such arrangements will never be an exact science although Earnshaw sees enough synergy between what goes on at Damson Park and Franklin’s Gardens to make it worthwhile.
“You just go to their club, as we did the Premiership Sevens, and the atmosphere and the environment they had for their players was brilliant.”
After the loss of several key players, Bees have also done some intriguing recruiting of their own with unproven but talented youngsters like Ben Barkley given the opportunity to step up.
And the search for the next Akapusi Qera has alighted upon giant Tongan Semisi Taulava, an awesomely-built back row found in the lower league at Worthing.