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Andy Deacon column: Ditching home advantage would be last resort

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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IT WAS another week, another game rained off for us.

Old Albanians called to say the game was postponed on Saturday morning.

Even our away games are being called off at the moment, which is really frustrating.

We had two teams going up, with United coming as well because Cinderford was unplayable.

But with the games called off at such late notice it was difficult to arrange somewhere for 40 lads to train and we ended up doing nothing.

There’s two ways you can look at it. You can get het up and worried about it or you can just get on with it. It’s not in our hands and we can’t do anything about it.

It would be easy to cancel training because of the conditions and difficulty in getting around but we just have to keep going.

We had a training game against Newent RFC on Monday night. Andy Addis was keen for the guys to come and train with us and it worked for everyone to have a conditioned game.

We did a unit session with the backs and forwards and then a series of 15 minute matches, with Cinderford, United and Newent all playing each other with Phil Watters refereeing.

Murrayfield pitch is a joke but England look good

WE SAW England take on Scotland on a worm-infested Murrayfield mud-bath on Saturday and it simply wasn’t good enough, especially for a tournament of such prestige.

We’ve seen the same in the past at the Millennium Stadium and Stade de France and it is becoming a real issue.

Saracens have led the way with a 4G pitch and Cardiff Blues have also followed which is great.

They have a bit of plastic in the pitch at Twickenham and it’s like a carpet, and I was relieved to hear both the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Unions have plans in place to install hybrid pitches in the summer – if the Scots think they can improve on that they are mistaken.

They were really poor on the weekend but England did an adequate job. Billy Vunipola is a lovely player, Joe Marler is improving with every game and we have world-class second-rows.

In the backs, I’m a massive fan of Danny Care. He is a quality player and has that arrogance you want on the pitch.

Owen Farrell is one of the best 10s in the game at the moment, Billy Twelvetrees is growing as an international centre and Luther Burrell is so big and powerful.

I’ve been really pleased with Jonny May and Jack Nowell, who haven’t been bogged down by the international scene and have been really free spirited.

There’s just a lot more balance throughout the team. The Championship is wide open with only Ireland and France unbeaten.

You wouldn’t want to bet against either of them going on to win a Grand Slam but I still believe England will win the Championship.

The fixtures favour England now, with both Ireland and Wales having to travel to Twickenham and the way France are at the moment I’m sure they will slip up at some stage.

I was fortunate enough to go to Sixways to watch Worcester versus Leicester on Friday as Raging Bull were sponsoring the game.

It went right to the wire and Leicester won by just a point but you have to worry for Worcester. They have improved but do they have the firepower to score the tries? That’s what it will ultimately come down to.

There seemed to be an acceptance from people there that they will be in the Championship next year and it’s difficult to see anything else. That’s really sad for the club. They really are set up for the Premiership.

They are still winless in the Premiership and face Gloucester on the last day of the season.

Some Cherry and White fans might be getting a bit worried but I honestly can’t see them doing it.

Lydney and Hartpury set to go up

THERE wasn’t a great deal of rugby around Gloucestershire but Lydney and Hartpury just keep going and appear to be nailed on for promotion.

Without things going drastically wrong I’m sure they will both go up, which is great for the clubs and the area as a whole.

Longlevens played Old Richians in their local derby and won which was great.

I’m starting to think I’m a bit of a lucky mascot. I’ve been to watch my son twice in two weeks and they keep winning.

I was speaking to John Seddon yesterday who is now at Brockworth working with the mini and junior section.

Like other clubs the youth numbers have been diminishing over the years and it’s so important to revive this area for the future.

Brockworth have launched a great initiative to recruit young players from six to 16, girls and boys, and get them involved.

With some fantastic support from the RFU they are running skill set sessions with top quality RFU coaches and their next event is on Tuesday, March 4.

Bringing youngsters into the sport is so important for grassroots rugby. Call John on 07925 328844 or e-mail dseddon7@aol.com for more information.

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