Captains named for the season
Posted by: John Wilkinson (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 12:01

BACK row forward Eoghan Grace and centre Tom Wheatcroft have been named as co-captains of Coventry Rugby for the 2016-17 season.

The two are part of a leadership group consisting of six players who complement the experience and positions of the club’s four player-coaches and have stood out as a forward and a back with the knowledge and understanding that will be invaluable as the squad progresses through the season.

“We feel they are in the right playing positions to be able to influence the game as a captain,” said director of rugby, Rowland Winter.

“They both possess great leadership skills and have been recognised by their team-mates as having the right characteristics to represent the players’ views and provide added direction on and off the pitch.

“We also have plenty of experience among the squad, with certain players who will have leading roles within our new set-up to take us forward and develop what we are implementing here at Butts Park.

“The leadership group reflects those involved with the 1st XV for each game and will have an input in planning the training week so we have player ownership and responsibility around our approach and performance goals. This allows the coaching team to facilitate the session and guide the team.

“Co-captaincy is not suited to every club, but it is right for us at present. It means that both players can share the responsibility of the match-day captaincy, yet both know that their places in the team are not guaranteed as we have a competitive squad with pressure on each shirt.”

Grace and Wheatcroft, who were team-mates at Ealing Trailfinders last season, are relishing the opportunity offered by their new roles.

“I’m absolutely chuffed,” said Wheatcroft.”From Hinckley, Coventry is a local club to me and it’s an absolute honour to be co-captain, and hopefully we can lead the team forward in the coming season.

“It’s a little bit different, but I think it’s good to have two captains, a back and a forward, so we’ve got two different views. Equally, you may not be selected for one weekend but the team will have another captain in place.

“A leadership group is a good thing. I think in any team you need that balance with the players to give feedback to the coaches and vice-versa.

“We’ve had a great start to pre-season, on and off the field, and we’ve got a lot of games coming up which we need with almost a brand new squad. All we need now is to start playing.”

Said Grace: “Some will say that co-captaincy is unusual, but Rowland is looking to put in place a player-led team which is an interesting move and is something that will be good to see evolve.

“To have that kind of control over where we are going as players with the coaches facilitating and pushing ideas on to us to take forward is going to be slightly different, but I’m looking forward to being part of it and it’s nice to have that feeling of responsibility about what we’re doing.

“Good leadership will be a key element, and we’re just looking forward to the challenge ahead and being part of a club that’s growing again.”

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Paul Ingleston (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 12:19

Good luck to both Eoghan and Tom in your new roles for the upcoming season.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Tip (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 12:21

Pack leader and back leader, as long as there is communication between the two seems ideal.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: OldNick (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 13:27

All the very best of luck to the two of them.

Two captains is an interesting approach - I guess we'll have to wait and see who 'sir' is told is in charge!

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: tonker (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 13:35

good luck to both, i dont recall seeing either play but if they were at ealing a few years they may have been to the butts before. i suppose it indicates RW thinks they will be starting most games , in which case thats a centre and back row place taken. is whetcroft a 12 or 13 and which back row position does grace favour?

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: OldNick (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 13:58

According to the information I was given for the Big List, Eoghan (Owen) is an openside flanker (7) and Tom is an inside centre (12)

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Nige H (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 17:09

This is certainly an unusual move, but I think is a good one.

We have seen over the years, great players appointed as captians, who then haven't performed at the same levels pre being appointed the captaincy. This you could surmise is mostly down the extra responsibility and pressure that the captaincy brings with it. Having a joint captaincy would hopefully take some of that pressure of the individual player. :-)

Good luck to both players.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Wazeroonie (IP Logged)
Date: 29 July, 2016 20:55

The co-captains is interesting, but the 'leadership group' interests me more. I think it is a great idea to get the players more involved in how they develop themselves as players, with 'player ownership and responsibility around our approach and performance goals' being a great incentive for the players - and as the majority of the lads are new to the club, this approach will hopefully help bring the new squad together more quickly.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Peter Redhead (IP Logged)
Date: 30 July, 2016 00:54

Looking forward to see them against Jersey, think this will be a good challenge for skills and fitness. Also looking forward to meeting old friends there at the club house.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: Charliebravo (Cliff Bennett) (IP Logged)
Date: 30 July, 2016 12:14

Very best wishes and congratulations to Eoghan and Tom.
This season looks so different in so many ways that it can only lift your spirits, your hopes and expectations, and make being a Cov supporter so much more gratifying.

Re: Captains named for the season
Posted by: bigm/ mark harrison. (IP Logged)
Date: 31 July, 2016 10:19

Interestingly Eoghan Grace was named player of the season when at Plymouth two seasons ago.

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