- Warwick get chance to avenge Under 18 defeat
- Windo tells Bromsgrove to focus on semi-final
Warwick School’s Under 18 players will be back at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry on Saturday, March 9 but this time it will be as spectators to support the school’s Under 15 team as they attempt to reach the final of the Daily Mail RBS Schools Cup.
Last Saturday Warwick were beaten 13-10 by Northampton School for Boys in the Under 18 semi-final, this weekend the Under 15s will have the chance to make up for that disappointment when they take on Bromsgrove School in another all-Midlands encounter (11am).
The Under 15s team were part of a large contingent of Warwick supporters last week and the Under 18s will repay the compliment this Saturday.
“The Under 15s had a training session last Saturday morning but then they came over to Broadstreet on the supporters’ coaches,” said Warwick coach, Tom Pierce.
“It was a fantastic chance for them to get used to the ground and the atmosphere of a semi-final. Hopefully, there will be another big crowd and a great atmosphere this week.
“Quite a few of the Under 18s are planning to come along and support the Under 15s this week and hopefully we will get some of the old boys along as well.
“I was there in the stands last week and it was very disappointing to go out having gone into a ten-point lead. It was a real shame but we have another chance to get to Twickenham this week.”
Warwick were beaten by Bromsgrove in a regular fixture earlier in the season but Pierce, a former first team flanker at North Walsham, believes his side have improved significantly since then.
“We know all about Bromsgrove and this is an exciting challenge for us,” Pierce said. “They are local rivals and it’s the semi-final of the Cup.
“As a squad we are completely unrecognisable from when we played them earlier in the season. One of the key things is the work ethic and our eagerness to learn and improve.
“We do regular analysis sessions and that has been a vital ingredient in the side’s improvement.”
The appointment of Eugene Martin, who is director of rugby at National Two North club Birmingham & Solihull, to a full-time coaching role that involves detailed analysis has contributed to Warwick’s development.
Martin will be alongside Pierce on the touchline at Broadstreet on Saturday while his club are in league action at Huddersfield.
Meanwhile Tony Windo, Bromsgrove’s director of rugby, will tell his players to forget their win over Warwick earlier in the season.
“That event has gone, we have to focus on this match,” said the former Gloucester and Worcester Warriors prop.
“It’s an old cliché, I know, but it’s still very valid. This is probably the biggest match that the boys have ever played in so the focus has to be on this weekend rather than what happened earlier in the season.”
Windo is in his second year in charge of rugby at Bromsgrove and he is assisted by two coaches who have brothers playing in the Aviva Premiership. Liam Mullan is brother of Matt, the Worcester Warriors and England prop, and Gareth George is brother of Saracens hooker, Jamie.
Windo has plenty of experience from his own distinguished playing career, which included touring with England, which he hopes will benefit unbeaten Bromsgrove as they attempt to reach the Under 15 final for the first time.
“I played in some big games in my career and would like to think that I can pass on the benefit of that experience to the boys,” he said.