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Ludlow told to make most of home turf

By Matt Maher | Rugby | Published:

Head Coach Mikey Jones has called on Ludlow to make the most of home comforts when they host Midlands One West leaders Stoke tomorrow.

Mikey Jones

Newly-promoted Ludlow are aiming to continue an impressive start to life in the higher division against a Stoke team who have picked up bonus point wins in their opening two matches.

Jones admitted the focus is very much on their own performance, after following up an opening day draw with Newbold by beating Old Halesonians last weekend.

He said: “It has been a very encouraging start. If I am being honest, I don’t know a huge amount about Stoke, other than they have picked up two bonus point wins in the first two games.

“We just have to concentrate on ourselves. I’m confident if we get our own game right there are not many teams who will be able to cope with us on home turf.”

Jones has taken heart in the mentality of his team, who have fought back to claim a result despite trailing in both matches so far.

“The players have been tested but kept their heads and clawed it back,” he explained. “We know we are going to go for 80 minutes.

“It was important to get some results on the board early. It just helps settle everyone down.

“We didn’t get promoted just to make up the numbers. We firmly believe we can kick on and challenge for a top six finish. We want to get as high as we can.”

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Bob Adams is happy to stick with his youthful prospects as Newport look to continue their perfect start to the season. The Fishes host their first Forton Road clash of the Midlands Premier campaign as Nuneaton come to town.

Newport have won away at newly-promoted Kettering before last weekend’s 19-try hammering of struggling South Leicester.

Newport, boosted by new signings from the close season, have featured three teenagers this term with 18-year-old Will Higgins impressing in the back row.

“Will is a player who had two years with Worcester Warriors where he had a really good grounding,” said director of rugby Adams. “He’s a player we have a lot of interest in but it’s about feeling our way in with him, he’s a big 18 year old but he’s not a man yet. So we have to manage him. Jake Leonard and Alex Haselock are 19, they’ve been with us last year and involved a lot. It’s always good to have youngsters in there.”

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Adams was not interested in his side’s club record-breaking efforts last time out and instead insisted attention immediately turned to a home date with Nuneaton, who have one win and one defeat this season.

“As soon as it was Sunday I turned my attention straight to Nuneaton and what we’re going to do there,” he added.

“Records don’t interest me,” he said. “Nuneaton is a tough game and they were our bogey side until we got a win over them last season.

“They’ve had a few changes there, a new coach and new lads but we’ve got an idea about how we’re going to play.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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