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Ealing Trailfinders team to face Coventry Rugby

It's time for Round 5 of Championship Rugby as Ealing Trailfinders make the trip to Butts Park Arena to face Coventry Rugby. It should be a tough test for the West London club, as the hosts are unbeaten at home so far this season.

Team News 

Ben Ward has named an unchanged side to that which took to the field against Nottingham a fortnight ago. 

Rayn Smid, who was on the scoresheet twice last week, will once again look to lead from the front as he captains the side from number 8. Simon Uzokwe and Jack Digby make up the rest of the back row. James Gibbons, Shaun Malton and Lewis Thiede put up a dominant performance in the scrum last time out and all retain their positions in the front row.

Steven Shingler put on a great display in Ealing Trailfinders’ round 4 fixture against Nottingham picking up the player of the match award and he has been rewarded for his efforts, keeping his place at fly-half. Craig Hampson, who has started every match this season completes the half-back pairing.

The centres and back three complete an unchanged backline. Pat Howard and Max Bodilly start at inside and outside centre. While David Johnston, who has played every minute this season, will wear the fifteen shirt again this weekend. Angus Kernohan starts on the left wing and Charlie Walker starts on the right. Walker will be looking to add to his two tries against Nottingham last time out.

There is only one change amongst the replacements, Harry Casson comes on to the bench replacing Craig Willis, as Ward feels an extra forward will be useful for Saturdays’ visit to Coventry. Despite Jordan Burns scoring two tries off the bench at Trailfinders Sports Club against Nottingham, he doesn’t make it in to the starting xv. 

Recent Form

Last weekend there was a break for all Championship Rugby sides, so both teams should be well rested and ready for the challenge this Saturday. Ealing Trailfinders sit top of the Championship Rugby table heading into Round 5, however only one point separates them from their opponents who are currently in 5th place.

Ealing Trailfinders come into this match after crossing the whitewash 12 times in an emphatic 78-19 home victory against Nottingham in Round 4. Trailfinders’ other results this season include an away loss in a cagey affair to Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field and a bonus-point win at home to Hartpury University in the opening round.

So far, Coventry have played four matches this season compared to Ealing Trailfinders’ three. They started their campaign in the best possible fashion beating a strong Doncaster Knights side 39-22. In Round 2 they suffered an agonising 21-19 defeat away at Ampthill, but returned to winning ways the following week beating Richmond 10-5 in another tight affair. Most recently they played Hartpury losing the match 18-7.

Last Time Out

Ealing Trailfinders last visited Butts Park Arena in March earlier this year. The west Londoners were convincing winners that day, however it didn’t all run smoothly. After a disappointing first half of rugby the players headed back to the changing room with the game in the balance at 12-12. Despite this, Ben Ward’s side were a different team in the second 40. Forwards Will Davis, Simon Uzokwe and Rayn Smid all ended up scoring a brace. The final score that evening was Coventry 19-55 Ealing Trailfinders.

Starting XV

James Gibbons

Shaun Malton

Lewis Thiede 

Simon Linsell

James Cannon

Jack Digby

Simon Uzokwe

Rayn Smid

Craig Hampson

Steven Shingler

Angus Kernohan

Pat Howard 

Max Bodilly

Charlie Walker

David Johnston


16. Campher

17. Smith

18. Whyte

19. Casson

20. De Wee

21. Burns

22. Bird-Tulloch

23. Al-Jiboori