- Biggest match in 30 years for Leicestershire club
- Burchell predicts tough game for Coalville
Coalville are ready for their biggest match in 30 years with the visit of Old Laurentians to Hall Road for the Midlands Intermediate Cup final on Saturday, March 16.
The Leicestershire club were beaten by Hinckley in a Leicestershire Cup final at Wigston in the 1980s but now find themselves just two games away from an appearance in a national cup final at Twickenham on May 4, having beaten county rivals Oadby Wyggestonians in the Midlands semi-final last month.
“This will be our biggest match since we were beaten by Hinckley in the county cup final around 30 years ago,” said Coalville chairman, David Burchell.
“It’s generating a lot of interest and we are expecting a big crowd. We know that Old Laurentians are bringing a few bus loads of supporters over so it’s going to be a busy day and probably the biggest home match we have ever had.”
The clubs were familiar opponents before the introduction of leagues but meetings between the two have been few and far between in recent years.
The form line suggests a tight contest with Coalville top of Midlands Two East (North) and Rugby-based Old Laurentians second behind Kenilworth in Midlands Two West (South).
“Everyone wants to get to Twickenham but we realise it’s going to be a tough game on Saturday,” Burchell said.
“They are going well in their league, we are top of ours. It’s difficult to know if there is a difference between the leagues but we play at the same level and it’s a Cup game so it’s all down to what happens on the day.”
Coalville are coached by Stuart Redfern, a stalwart of Leicester’s front row for many years, but most of their first team squad are products of the club’s successful mini and junior section.
Captain Matt Chamberlain, full back Michael Richmond and scrum half Matt Twigg have all played county rugby for Leicestershire, although Twigg will need to pass a fitness test on a knee injury before the regional final.
The winners of Saturday’s final will progress to the national semi-finals of the RFU Intermediate Cup.
Warwickshire will be represented in the Midlands finals of all three RFU Cup competitions on March 16 with Old Leamingtonians travelling to Stourbridge Lions in the Midlands Senior Vase final and Harbury hosting Old Yardleians in the Midlands Junior Vase showpiece.