With the aim of topping up his game time, 23 year old scrum half, Dave Lewis, has become the latest Gloucester Rugby player to be dual registered – allowing him to play for Gloucester and now also Cinderford RFC. Competing in the third tier of English rugby, playing for Cinderford gives Lewis the valuable rugby time he requires in between his premiership fixtures, and last night he slotted right into training with the Forest squad.
Said Andy Deacon, director of rugby: “We already have Tom Heard with us, which has worked out very well. Now Dave comes out on loan to us when we have injury doubts, after Sam Arnott knocked his ankle last weekend, so the timing is more than perfect. We have a tough fixture this Saturday away to Esher and it will be a battle to secure our first win away this season.”
Dave Lewis joined Gloucester in 2007/8 and has been a regular and popular selection ever since. “Of course, Dave knows quite a few of the Cinderford boys so he has a good understanding from the off. I also believe that Dave will provide a great role model to some of our younger scrum halves in the United and Stags squads, and help fast track their development and progression,” Deacon added.
Commenting on today’s news regarding Dave Lewis on loan to Cinderford, Gloucester Rugby’s director of rugby Nigel Davies said: “We’re in the fortunate situation of having four quality scrum halves in the squad. But, I can only select two of them for each match. However, the nature of the modern game is that injuries happen. It’s a fact of life. While they’re all fit and raring to go at the moment, that could change at any minute.
“You can train as hard as you can but it’s not the same as playing in matches. It’s important that they all get competitive rugby on a regular basis. “We’ve got an excellent relationship with Cinderford and have reached an agreement where Dave can turn out for them when appropriate. It’s a good solution for all parties.”
Also last night Gloucester Rugby Defence Coach Paul Moriarty attended Cinderford RFC’s squad training session. His focus was on developing the squad’s defence skills, with players working in smaller units. This gave the focus required for a more detailed analysis. “Our relationship with Gloucester Rugby goes from strength to strength and having Paul as our guest defence coach every other week now steps up our game and raises the bar. We are all pleased to welcome him to Cinderford to work alongside Dave, Lee, Paul and Isiah (Cinderford coaches) and it’s great for the players to be able to benefit from his vast experience.”
Cinderford enjoys an even closer partnership with Gloucester Rugby whereby Gloucester players are placed on loan to gain valuable match time at this high level, in a really competitive national division. Cinderford RFC has also recently supplied numerous players for the successful Gloucester ‘A’ team. Following in the footsteps of Freddie Burns, Henry Trinder, Shaun Knight, Yann Thomas and others, Gloucester Academy prop, Tom Heard also features regularly in the first XV line up.
In the absence of a Saturday Gloucester game last weekend, a number of cherry and white fans got their rugby fix, and and a discount, by coming to watch the National 1 side play an enthralling game against Blackheath, winning 34-19. Cinderford plans to run another promotion in two weeks time when home to Wharfedale and Gloucester away to Quins. Look out for more news on this in the next few days.
Picture: Dave Lewis in action © Martin Bennett/ Gloucester Rugby