- Hill and Dignum to miss Junior Vase final
- Walton ready for Rugby’s big day
Rugby Lions will spare a thought for two of their injured players when they face Longlevens in the RFU Junior Vase final at Twickenham Stadium today, May 4 (11am).
Rugby will be without lock Nick Hill, who snapped an Achilles tendon in a training session before their semi-final win over Goole, and experienced fly half Rob Dignum, who broke an ankle during that match.
Both will miss out on a dream appearance at Twickenham but Rugby intend to keep the injured pair involved in their match-day squad.
“We are very disappointed that Nick and Rob have suffered injuries that will prevent them playing in the final,” said Rugby’s head coach Rob Walton.
“The injuries mean that they will not be able to play on Sunday but they will be there and involved with the squad because they have been such a part of our success this season.”
Rugby will travel down to Twickenham on Saturday and will take in London Wasps’ Aviva Premiership match against Newcastle Falcons at Adams Park, which will bring some happy memories for Walton.
Ten years ago Walton was part of the Birmingham & Solihull squad that stunned Wasps in the Powergen Cup quarter-finals before they were beaten by Newcastle in the semi-final at Kingston Park.
“It will be interesting to go back but I won’t be boring the players about what happened ten years ago,” Walton said.
“We wanted to take in another game on our way down to London and try to get the lads relaxed so that they can enjoy the day on Sunday.”
Rugby’s first appearance in a Twickenham final comes less than two years after they were expelled from the league structure when they ran into financial difficulties.
A group of enthusiastic supporters kept the running last year when Rugby played only friendly matches. They were re-admitted to the leagues at the very lowest level this season but romped to the Midlands Five West (South) title before they won the Midlands Junior Vase last month.
“It’s been a great success story but it’s not something that anyone expected,” Walton said.
“We didn’t plan for this. We have just kept plugging away and trying to take each week as it comes.
“It’s fantastic for all the supporters who have stuck by the club and all the age group teams that have continued to flourish that they have the chance to watch the club play at Twickenham for the first time.”
Rugby’s first appearance at Twickenham comes just a week after they faced local rivals Rugby Welsh in more humble surroundings.
“Last Saturday we were away at Rugby Welsh, this week we are playing at Twickenham. You couldn’t get a greater contrast than that,” Walton said.