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Coventry RFC

Coventry RFC
Full name Coventry Rugby Football Club
Founded 1874;  (1874)
Ground(s) Butts Park Arena (Capacity: 4,000)
Coach(es) England Phil Maynard (DoR)
Wales Scott Morgan (Head Coach)
Captain(s) Wales Scott Morgan
League(s) National League 1
2012–13 9th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Coventry Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club based in the city of Coventry, England. The club enjoyed national success during the 1960s and the 1970s, with many of its players playing for their countries. Their home ground is the Butts Park Arena, which was opened in 2004. From 1921 to 2004 the club played at Coundon Road Stadium, Coventry. The club currently play in National League 1 the third tier of the English rugby union system.


The club was founded in 1874. It was one of the premier rugby clubs in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s and many of its players were capped during that time for England. These included Phil Judd, George Cole, Bill Gittings, Peter Rossborough, John Barton, Barry Ninnes, Keith Fairbrother, Geoff Evans, Peter Preece, Alan Cowman, Graham Robbins and David Duckham. Other top players of that era were John Gray, Brian Holt and Steve Thomas. The club was renowned for exciting attacking rugby. Playing at Coundon Road Stadium, their major local rivals were Moseley, with whom they had a regular and popular Boxing Day fixture. This was in the days when Leicester were a second order force in Midlands rugby. Cardiff and London Welsh were regular visitors. David Duckham scored the most impressive try of his career against London Welsh in a match in 1973. The latest Coventry player to gain an honour was Jamie Miller who represented the Barbarians in November 2008

Coundon Road was a ground of character. On the clubhouse side was the homely, wooden-seated stand. Opposite was the Cowshed, a standing terrace, with a flimsy, corrugated and rusty iron roof that frequently flapped in the breeze, showering rust on its occupants. The Cowshed was renowned for its amusing characters, strong community spirit and ribald comments, which did much to raise the spirit of the Cov players and intimidate the opposition. The City end of the ground was essentially a mix of railway sleepers and shale. All in all a fabulous ground at which the international stars of their day exhibited their skill and flowing rugby in the late 60s and throughout the 1970s, the club's heyday.

Current standings

Squad 2013–2014

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.

Player Position Union
Niko Steenkamp Prop South Africa South Africa
Rob Dugard Prop England England
Tim Ryan Prop Ireland Ireland
Josh McNulty Prop England England
Will Davis Prop England England
Chris Locke Hooker England England
Matt Price Hooker England England
Sam Herrington Lock England England
Scott Morgan Lock Wales Wales (c)
Tom Poole Lock England England
Danny Wright Flanker England England
Liam Munro Flanker England England
Matt Tibbatts Flanker England England
Michael Ryan Number 8 England England
Jacques le Roux Number 8 Portugal Portugal
Player Position Union
Louis Silver Scrum-half England England
Lewis Barker Scrum-half England England
Ross Keven Scrum-half England England
Will Maisey Fly-half England England
Matt Jones Fly-half Wales Wales
Cliffie Hodgson Fly-half South Africa South Africa
Luke Myring Centre England England
James Otutaha Centre Australia Australia
Callum McBurnie Centre England England
Mark Kohler Centre Canada Canada
Tom Harris Centre England England
Steve Johns Wing England England
Will Hurrell Wing England England
Andy Murray Wing England England
Barry Davies Fullback Wales Wales

Recent events

1998-2006-07 Season

Keith Fairbrother, a former player for the club, had been chairman for eight years. He took over the club after it had gone into receivership in 1998.

2006-07 Season

On 23 August 2006, Andrew Green became the new owner and chairman of the club when he bought the club's controlling company (Butts Park Ventures (Coventry) Ltd) from Keith Fairbrother. Andrew Green is a former player and chief executive of Reading R.F.C.

Apoua Stewart, the Samoan international full-back, was suspended for two years on 1 November 2006 after testing positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine. In doing so, he became the first Coventry player to fail a drug test. Stewart gave a positive sample after the game against Earth Titans at the Butts Park Arena on 9 September 2006. He admitted the offence when he appeared before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel at the Filton Holiday Inn Hotel in Bristol.[1]

On 15 November 2006 the coach Mike Umaga, older brother of Tana Umaga, was suspended following unspecified allegations.[2] Umaga had been at the club since July 2004, initially as the backs coach, becoming the assistant coach in September 2004, and the head coach in April 2005. He resigned a fortnight later on 27 November 2006. [3]

2007-08 Season

21 June 2007, it was reported that Coventry Rugby Club banned Claire Harrison from their ground after she gave evidence against the club in a dispute between Coventry and the kit supplier for whom she was working. The civil court found against Coventry and the club were ordered to pay Flash UK £4,354 plus interest over the debt and £220 costs.

The statement chronicled events in the case from start to finish, including comments on any possible manipulation of media outlets.[4]

After a series of poor results, Coventry Rugby Football Club announced that the then coach, Murray Henderson, would be being moved within the club from 17 December 2007. He worked on developing community aspects of rugby at the club and looked after the development of Warwickshire’s younger players who aspire to play for Coventry. [5] The team were then coached by Phil Maynard, former coach of local rivals Pertemps Bees.

2009-10 Season

On 1 December 2009, it was reported that club owner Andrew Green had put the club into voluntary liquidation.[6][7] It was later reported that this attempt had failed and that the club would instead go into administration.[8] On 8 January 2010 it was announced that the club had come out of administration with the formation of a new company Coventry Rugby Ltd with investment from businessman Jon Bowles.[9]

2010-11 Season

The 2010–11 season saw the return of Phil Maynard, and although the club were relegated to National League 1, the management saw him as the man to start the new era at Coventry Rugby Club. A whole new squad was formed, alongside new coaching staff. The season started with a heavy loss at Tynedale, but there were positives there. The aim this season was to not get relegated and for the team to gel.

During 2010-11 it became clear that a number of the players brought in during the shortened closed season in order to ensure that Coventry started with an adequate sized squad to fulfil its fixture list were not likely to play at that level on a regular basis.

2011-12 Season

Although it was announced by Peter Rossborough, at a public meeting at the club that the 2011-12 budget would start lower than that for 2010-11, the starting squad for 2011-12 appeared to be as large as that for 2010-11. The squad for 2011-12 appeared to have been put together in less of a hurry and to have more players actively considered for places in the first XV team. The Nighthawks team was reformed, giving fringe players and those requiring games to regain match fitness the chance of match time through lower tier matches against other local opposition.

2012-13 Season

The 2012-13 season ended with Coventry in 9th place in National League 1. Following this Phil Maynard, while retaining the role of Director of Rugby, also took on that of General Manager for the start of the 2013-14 season, concentrating on business aspects of the club. 2nd row player Scott Morgan become head coach, while retaining a playing role.

Notable former players

Previous coaches

  • 2013-present Scott Morgan
  • 2008–2013 Phil Maynard (DOR)
  • 2008 David Addleton (acting)
  • 2008 Brett Davey
  • 2007 Murray Henderson
  • 2006 David Addleton (acting)
  • 2005–2006 Mike Umaga
  • 2004–2005 Steve Williams
  • 2004 John White
  • 2003 Mark Donato
  • 2002–2003 Mark Ellis
  • 2000–2002 Peter Rossborough
  • 2000 Harry Roberts
  • 1999 Keith Richardson
  • 1997–1999 Derek Eves

Club honours

International players

The following players have played for their country while playing for Coventry. Unless otherwise noted, all played for England.

This information was taken from display boards inside the clubhouse on 15 October 2006.


External links

  • Official site
  • Unofficial site
  • Banned for telling the truth in court
  • Coventry Rugby Football Club Historical Archive of Photos, Press clippings, Programs and Match Statistics

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