- Leicestershire club face unbeaten cup holders
- Fitness the key to success says Lutterworth skipper Rod Tranter
Lutterworth will enjoy being underdogs when they travel to Hartwell Lane to take on Stoke, the RFU Intermediate Cup holders, in this season’s Midlands final on Saturday March 17.
Lutterworth are second behind Peterborough Lions in Midlands Two East South but they will face a Stoke side who are running away with Midlands Two West North, having rattled up 852 points in an unbeaten 17-match run.
Stoke have moved to within two matches of a second consecutive appearance at Twickenham Stadium but Lutterworth have done their homework.
“We’ve had Stoke watched and we know that they are strong throughout, there’s no doubt about it,” said Lutterworth club captain Rod Tranter.
“We are going as underdogs, we know that, but that suits us well. It’s all about what happens in 80 minutes and we will be well prepared and ready for it.”
Lutterworth have a young and mobile side and fitness has been the key to their success this season since Dave Docherty arrived as their new coach.
“He’s a New Zealander who has done some work with the younger players at the Leicester Tigers Academy,” Tranter said.
“He started by getting everyone fit in the close season and he has encouraged us to play an open and expansive style of rugby.
“We have a strong youth section at the club and most of the first team have come through together and were coached by Chris Everard, the father of Matt Everard who was at Leicester and who is now with Wasps.”
Lutterworth expect to take two coachloads of supporters with them to Stoke, including club stalwart Malcolm Ross, the RFU Council Member for Leicestershire.
Tranter also intends to be at Stoke even though he is returning from a skiing holiday in Val d’Isere on the morning of the match.
“We booked the holiday in September before this competition started,” he said. “We are due to land in Birmingham at 1.30pm and we have arranged to be picked up at the airport and be driven up to Stoke.”