Putting League into Rugby
Putting League into Rugby
By MIKE HYDE
Once this may have been unthinkable, but following a historic agreement between Rugby Lions and Coventry Bears, semi-professional Rugby League is coming to the town which gave the original sport its name.
The deal to bring our game to Rugby was agreed by Alan Robinson, Bears Owner, and David Owen, the owner of Rugby Lions.
‘We are delighted that Coventry Bears are coming to Webb Ellis Road to show the difference between the two games, It is a great opportunity for Rugby supporters to compare the two different types of Rugby and enjoy sport in the summer”
“I hope to see rugby supporters give Coventry Bears a very warm welcome’, said David Owen, ahead of this Sunday’s fixture, the first of four to be played at the Webb Ellis Road venue.
Coventry Bears Owner and CEO Alan Robinson explained; ‘Yes, as legend has it, Rugby was invented here when William Webb Ellis picked up a football in 1823 at Rugby school and ran with it down the field to score the first Try! In 1895, Northern rugby clubs broke away as we all know, and our game of rugby League developed”
“The club is no stranger to Webb Ellis Road as we played a conference grand final here in 2001 versus Teeside Steelers. We also played an exhibition match at Rugby school close in 2000 to celebrate the RLWC coming to England that year”
Relationships between the two codes have not always been good, but things have improved greatly over the past decade.
So it is very significant, and a sign of friendship and sportsmanship that thirteen a side Rugby League will reside in the town this summer.
Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang was also upbeat, despite his side having to play home fixtures on the road.
‘We had a great win in London last weekend, and the team are looking forward to a change of scene and to playing in front of a new audience as well as our regular fans who will be coming down from Coventry.’
‘We have four games to play at Webb Ellis Road, and plan on making this a fortress as the season draws to a close.
How to get there from Coventry
Rugby is around14 miles from the centre of Coventry, and the journey by road should take just 25-30 minutes.
The recommended route is via the A45, then either continuing on that road or taking the B4642.
The address of Rugby Lions is Webb Ellis Road, and for SATNAV, the postcode is CV22 7AU
By rail, it’s a very quick 10 minute journey from Coventry Station, followed by a 25 minute walk.
There’s plenty of trains, for example on Sunday the 14.17 gets into Rugby from Coventry at 14.27, allowing time to walk to the ground.
As regards refreshments, liquid and otherwise, The Merchant Inn is close by and seems to have won a lot of accolades over the past few years.