Coventry Rugby v Doncaster Knights: Steve Boden predicts toughest test yet for his new-look side
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That’s the prediction from the club’s director of rugby Steve Boden despite his side’s perfect start to the RFU Championship season.
Coventry suffered a shock defeat to Ampthill last time out, but Boden told The Free Press: “I expect Coventry will be right up there. We know we are going to have to be absolutely at the top of our game to get anything out of the match.
"We are going to have to be better than we have been for the last three games to have a chance of competing.”
Boden admitted his troops will be underdogs against the division’s best-supported side at the Butts Park Arena.
The eagerly anticipated fixture will be a litmus test for their progress, he added.
Boden said: “We are expecting the best version of Coventry, they are a very good side, beat us quite convincingly last season and are well-coached.
"We are up against it, but it’s a challenge. We are tracking to see where we are, they are a good marker for the division.”
Coventry beat Knights in three of the pair’s four meetings in the league and Championship Cup last term, with Knights gaining the upper hand just once.
But their strong start and a rest weekend last week means they are in good shape ahead of their toughest test yet.
Boden said: “Our environment is in a good place. The squad is in a good place, it’s fairly healthy. We are happy enough and confident.
"When we talk about going to measure ourselves, we are going to compete.”
Knights signed 19 new players in the off season after 20 members of last season’s squad moved on.
Boden declared himself pleased with the early signs the new-look group is showing, adding: “We know bigger tests are coming. Your environment gets tested when you win but also in adversity.
"The way we fought back (after losing 82-12 to Northampton Saints in the Premiership Cup), to go three from three shows we have got some character in the squad and a little bit of steel.”