Bristol prop Will Davis will bolster Cinderford’s front-row ranks after joining the Foresters on loan. The 23-year-old former Worcester and Bath academy prop will be up for immediate selection for Cinderford’s National League One clash at Richmond on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm). Former Filton College pupil Davis joined Coventry on loan at the tail-end of last term, and headed back to the Butts Park Arena at the start of this season. But the National League One Midlands outfit had been unable to accommodate Davis in first-team plans so far in the new campaign, and he returned to Bristol.
Cinderford boss Andy Deacon was alerted to the potential of Davis’ availability when the Foresters slipped up 38-18 at Coventry on September 14. And now he has persuaded Bristol academy boss Mike Hall that Davis’ development is best served at the Beavis Memorial Ground.
Rugby director Deacon is delighted to draw in a prop who can operate on both sides of the scrum – but admitted he must still fight for his chances like everyone else. He explained: “It’s a great signing for us that boost our strength and depth in the front-row. It can sometimes be tough for loan player to integrate at new clubs quickly. “But Will knows he will have to come in and prove himself and work hard for chances. We realise that parent clubs want their players to play as much rugby as possible and we want to help that along of course, we understand our end of the bargain. But at the same time we will always pick from strength and give opportunities to the most deserving.
“It’s a challenge to come in and force a way into this side, but everyone at this club must earn the right to play. He’s a versatile scrummager who can operate on either side of the scrum and that adds a great deal to our options. Will is a bright guy who can play a bit too, and that’s also going to fit into our ethos well.”
Deacon anticipates Gloucester recalling loanee tighthead prop Tom Heard for an extended run given the Cherry and Whites’ current front-row troubles. Nick Wood has six weeks to run of his eight-week ban for his red card at Saracens, while fellow loosehead Dan Murphy picked up a knee injury at Newcastle on Sunday. Academy number one James Gibbons is still battling a minor knee ligament strain, leading to hooker Koree Britton deputising at loosehead in Monday night’s A League defeat at Leicester. Britton was sent off for fighting along with Kingsholm old boy Ryan Lamb in the second-half of Gloucester United’s 38-16 Welford Road defeat. The 21-year-old had actually handled his first encounter at loosehead solidly enough until that rush of blood. But now the Torquay-born front-rower could face a ban for his indiscretion: and that would stretch boss Nigel Davies’ front-row resources to the limit.
Deacon praised former Richmond tighthead Elliott Booley for a strong debut in Saturday’s 35-5 Dockham Road National League One defeat to high-flying Doncaster. And now he believes Davis can offer a timely bolstering of Cinderford’s coal-face resources. Davies continued: “Elliott went well at the weekend and funnily enough the scrum was one of the plus points in what was clearly a tough day for us. Doncaster are an extremely powerful side though, who will be fighting for promotion without a doubt. They are desperate to go straight back up, and you can see why when you look at their extensive array of talent. It will be a massive test for us at Richmond at the weekend, they are a quality club.”
“But although we’ve gone up against some of the top sides in the league already and found the going hard in places, I think we are progressing all the time and I’m still excited by our potential. One of the main issues is that we must stop giving teams easy outlets from pressure. We gifted Doncaster too many straightforward chances to claim excellent field position on Saturday, and a team of that quality will always turn that territory into points.”
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