Preview: McCall ‘can’t wait’ for supporters to return on Monday night
The Championship is back, crowds are back and Director of Rugby Mark McCall has been speaking to the media ahead of another exciting fixture with our friends Ampthill.
Here’s what McCall had to say on this week’s press call.
ON THE RETURN OF CROWDS
Everyone is massively excited to have fans back at the stadium. No one has experienced it for a while so we can’t wait to welcome them back.
It makes a huge difference. All players play on emotion and it’s never the same playing in empty stadiums so as a group we’re really looking forward to it.
ON HAVING TWO MATCHES IN FIVE DAYS
We’ve had that the odd time in the past and we’re just looking at the positives of it. We’d rather have a short turnaround and be able to play in front of our fans so that’s how we see it. They are two very important games for us against two very good sides.
ON LIONS SELECTION
We’re thrilled for the guys selected, of course. It’s a huge achievement for Owen and Mako to be on their third Tour as well as Jamie, Maro and Elliot to be on their second.
We’re disappointed for Billy and Sean but they understand the tough choices and we’ll support them as we always do.
With the Lions being announced and so many of those guys coming through the Academy, it gives our youngsters a route forward and shows what they can achieve if they stay here and progress.
ON THE REST OF THE SEASON
All the games we are playing right now have real meaning to them as we look to make it to the top two. If that is the case then we would have knockout matches which would have huge significance and be very exciting to be involved in.
It’s just a shame with regards to the crowds as we would have loved to have gone to some of these places in front of full houses. We’ve prepared for every game as normal and faced some highly motivated sides.
They are a club that we have a very strong relationship with, they have been friends of the club for a few years and they have been a very good vehicle for our younger players.
When they beat Cornish Pirates they had four or five or guys playing for them which is invaluable experience.
We know on Monday we will be up against a highly motivated team who are very competitive and we expect to see the best of them.
ON SQUAD DEPTH
With the internationals away it opened up a lot of opportunities and you’ve seen with the likes of Andy Christie and Sean Reffell who have come on a lot.
When you look at Dom Morris who has stepped up, Elliott at full-back and a lot of loan players have played significant rugby, we have guys here who we are very excited about.