Cross Keys coach Greg Woods offers big incentive
CROSS Keys head coach Greg Woods is offering several of his players the huge incentive of being included in their British and Irish Cup squad if they perform well this weekend.
Woods says lock Ollie Hodge, back rower Rhys Peebles, outside half Dorian Jones and centres/wings Nathan Williams and Luke Williams could be rewarded for a good showing away against Carmarthen Quins.
The Newport Gwent Dragons are boosting Keys’ British and Irish Cup ambitions this season by potentially making 12 players from the region available to them, meaning some of the regular squad will inevitably miss out.
As well as being spurred on by the prospect of moving up the table with a win over the Quins, unbeaten in the Principality Premiership so far, on Saturday, five players will have added motivation.
“This weekend is a big opportunity for Ollie Hodge, Rhys Peebles, Dorian Jones, Luke Williams and Nathan Williams,” Woods said.
“This is a big game for them – they either perform or end up watching a lot of rugby.”
After this weekend’s encounter, Keys host Birmingham side Moseley on Saturday, October 12 before travelling to London to take on Ealing Trailfinders seven days later.
Both sides are struggling in England’s second-tier Championship one league below the Aviva Premiership.
The Pandy Park side are also in the same group as this year’s competition winners Leinster A who beat Newcastle 18-17 in the final.
They play the Irish province’s development side in back-to-back pool games in December.
Keys are buoyant going into Saturday’s league clash after last weekend’s 29-13 bonus point win over Llandovery at Pandy Park but mindful of a handy Quins side.
“We played some great rugby last week – the best we’ve played this season,” Woods said.
“We go to Carmarthen confident but the Quins are flying and have been putting teams to the sword. This is going to be a big challenge for us.”
The good news for Keys is that hooker Gerwyn Price has overcome a dead leg against the Drovers last weekend and captain and centre Leon Andrews is due to skipper the side after hurting his ankle in that win.
Centre Aled James isn’t so fortunate and sits out this weekend’s game after picking up a hamstring injury against Llandovery.
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