- Coalville set for Bridlington test
- Former Leicester prop aims for return to HQ
Stuart Redfern has his sights on a third Twickenham final but his first as a coach.
Redfern played twice for Leicester in John Player Cup finals but finished on the losing side on both occasions, against Bristol in 1983 and Bath six years later.
Now the former Tigers prop is within one game of a return to Twickenham as director of rugby of Midlands Two East (North) club Coalville, who host Bridlington in the RFU Intermediate Cup national semi-final on Saturday, March 30.
“My memories of Twickenham finals aren’t great because we lost both times,” Redfern said. “But it’s nice to be in with a chance of going back there as a coach.
“Coalville was my first club, I joined them at 14 and played first team for them before I moved to Leicester and it would be good to go to Twickenham with them.”
Coalville reached the national semi-finals by winning the RFU Midlands Intermediate Cup earlier this month when they beat Old Laurentians in the regional final at their Memorial Ground.
Coalville are expecting an even bigger crowd for the biggest match in their history although Redfern has had little opportunity to do his homework on Bridlington.
“We haven’t had the chance to have them watched, we will try to get some reports on them but really it’s about concentrating on our own game,” he said.
“We haven’t played since we beat Old Laurentians because of the weather. There is still about six inches of snow on the pitch so we will have to find somewhere to train this week.
“It’s another big day for the club and a reward for the players, administrators and all those who work hard behind the scenes. There’s a lot of prestige in going to Twickenham.
“We had a crowd of around 400 for the Midlands final and hopefully we will have more in on Saturday. People want to be part of a successful club.”
Redfern rejoined Coalville four years ago and has forged a successful partnership with Paul Lynds, who was a team-mate in the club’s youth section all those years ago.
“We have a young side, only one of the team is over 30, and most of them have come through the youth system at the club so it’s very much a homegrown team,” he said.
Coalville will be attempting to emulate their sporting neigbours Coalville Town FC, who reached the FA Vase final two years ago but were beaten by Whitley Bay at Wembley.