Bears get ready to Rundle
Coventry RFC winger Dan Rundle signs Bears deal to become Cov's first cross-code player
by the Coventry Evening Telegraphs, John Wilkinson.
Jet-heeled winger Dan Rundle is breaking new ground as Coventry Rugby’s first cross-code player.
The 22-year-old has signed a new two-year contract to remain at the Butts Park Arena, and will now be an all-year-round player as he combines his role for the rugby union club with a place in the Coventry Bears squad for their first season in rugby league’s semi-professional Kingstone Press League One.
“It cements a growing partnership between the two clubs, and is an exciting prospect for us both and for Dan as well,” said Cov’s rugby director Phil Maynard.
“Playing rugby league in the summer will give Dan a chance to work on areas of the game he needs to work on to go forward, and with his pace he will certainly add to the Bears attack.
“They are now playing in the equivalent league to us, and it is a race to get us both up to the next level. It is also a statement to our supporters that they can come and watch good rugby all the year round.”
Rundle will be available for the Bears when the union season finishes at the end of April.
“It’s a partnership where everyone benefits,” said Alan Robinson, managing director of the Bears. “Phil and I have been working hard to maximise things and this is the first real opportunity we’ve had to get something together regarding dual-registration.
“We’re hoping this is the start of what could be something special between us and a bit of a catalyst for the Cov fans to come and look at rugby league.
“Dan is an electrifying player and we all see it as a way for him to improve himself as an all-round player and not just for him to keep fit.
“There is a strategy behind it, we have a professional structure in place for the development of our players which Dan will be a part of, and hopefully he will go back to rugby union later in the summer a better player.
“As a cross-over player the transition is a lot easier for an outside back, and from what we have seen of Dan in the rugby union season it’s an exciting prospect for us.”
Added Robinson: “We want the Bears to be really competitive this season. We’ve been described in the rugby league press as a banana skin for all the teams coming down here from the north. We have got a great facility and a big pitch at the Butts Park which Dan and some of our younger players will really enjoy.”
Rundle played league a few years ago in Sunderland and is delighted with the deal.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “It’s giving me the opportunity to play rugby full-time which is what I have always wanted.
“League is not that different to playing union on the wing, with less players I find I get more space with the ball which is why I enjoy it, and there is more one-on-one tackling which will help my game.
“I’ve come on in leaps and bounds since I moved down here, and hopefully this will help me continue to improve.”
Pictures by the Coventry Evening Telegraph