Coleraine rugby was back in action on Saturday with a friendly against Ballyclare and now the focus switches to the first league match against Cooke at the weekend.
The game against Ballyclare gave both sides the opportunity to look at players and combinations in match conditions. The four periods allowed Coleraine to see 28 different players in action. Coach Richard Beggs was pleased with the performance and effort put in. He said: “It was a very worthwhile session.
“We had a squad of 28 players and they all got a run out,” he said. “It was very useful to see them in action and try some different combinations and moves.
“We have a lot of new players and they all stood up to the mark. There are some very exciting prospects and it will be interesting to see them develop in the squad.
“We have had a great turnout at training and a lot of commitment and effort from the players.
“There will be a lot of competition for places and every position is up for grabs. We will have some hard choices to make towards next weekend and Cooke.
“We hope to have some players who were not able to turn out on Saturday available for the first league match.
“Archie Kettyle will be here and will bring all his experience to the side.
“We should also have South African Bokkie Carstens available as well as Brian Cochrane, Conor Simpson and Mikey Poskitt to bolster the backline.
“The forwards came together well against Ballyclare and got stronger as the game progressed, which bodes well for the league.”
Beggs added: “We will have two good training sessions this week and then we are all really looking forward to the Cooke game. It will be a very tough start to the league but it will let us get a good fix on how we are coming on.
“It would be good to get lots of support for the game on Saturday. Support really boosts the players and can make a real difference, so let’s see plenty of members on the touchline.”
Coleraine are entertaining Cooke on Saturday at Rugby Avenue, in the first match in the Kukri Junior League. Kick off 2.30pm.
The Thirds are away at City of Derry.