Luctonians were without top try scorer Drew Cheshire last weekend as he was picked in the Gloucester starting 15 to play against Llanelli Scarlets in the LV Cup the Friday night before. Cheshire, who plays on the wing, has dual registration with the Luctonians and the Premiership club, something which Director of Rugby Alex Davidson is very proud of.
“It’s pleasing to see his name in lights really; he had a decent game by all accounts. Drew has been outstanding for us in the games he’s played this season and he certainly deserves to have his chance at that level. It’s refreshing for the lads to have him come back in and pass on some of the skills and knowledge that he’s picking up from the coaches at Gloucester, the more exposure he can get at the level the better for him and the better for us”.
With another ex youth player, Jonny Hill, also now part of the Gloucester Academy set up Davidson is keen to keep the link between the two clubs going with hope of getting more of the Luctonians young talent into the Premiership club.
“It’s great for us as a club; it acts as a marketing tool as people see our name as the junior club in the programme and makes them think who we are. Gloucester’s isn’t that far away from here and if we can keep the relationship going then it would be nice to think that we could push our young talent that way and they can give us a share of the spoils as well”.
One possible young talent that fits the bill is John Kelly, who has broken into the first team set up over the past few weeks. Kelly is the first player to play for the first team in the modern era that has come from Lucton school and as captain Jimmy Norris, who also coaches him at Hereford Sixth Form College, says he is definitely one to watch out for in the seasons to come.
“He’s an absolutely fantastic prospect. I coach him at the College, so I’ve had him for the last season and a half now and he’s constantly been the best player on the park for us there so I had no doubt that he could easily make the step up to this level so it’s come as no surprise that he’s here in the match day squad”.
Kelly was unable to show off his considerable talent on the weekend however, as the mid table clash with Caldy was abandoned after just 20 minutes due to a neck injury to one of the Caldy second row.
The incident came in the midst of an absolute torrent of rain and as a result the referee sent the players back to the changing room whilst they awaited the ambulance.
With the delay in the game the estimated time of the final whistle moved past 4.30 and with a lack of floodlights down one side of the pitch, ultimately it was going to be too dark to play before the end of the game.