DIRECTOR of rugby Dan Protherough insists his players are ‘playing for their places’ despite Bromsgrove’s impressive start to the season.
The Boars have won five out of their first six games and sit in third place, seven points behind National Three Midlands leaders Hinckley.
Howeverthe Bromsgrove boss said it was important his first team regulars did not get ‘comfortable’ and he admitted their places were being put under pressure.
Protherough fielded a ‘development side’ to take on Birmingham & Solihull in North Midlands Cup last week and although they lost in extra-time he said there were plenty of players putting their names in the mix for selection.
“Matt Shepherd, Paul Norris, Jamie Atkins and Greg Campion all did really well against Bees and have put their hand up to be included regularly,” he said.
“Some of them will probably get that opportunity quickly whereas others we will keep an eye on and bring them in when an opportunity arises.
“But what they are doing is providing real competition for places, so hopefully this will spur us on in training and week in week out people will know they are playing for their places.
“All the best teams I have been involved in have good competition where people don’t feel comfortable and don’t feel they can just relax and be lazy.
“If you have got someone champing at the bit to take your place you have got two choices. You can either work hard and try to stay in position or you don’t.
“But if you don’t have that pressure you can take your foot off the gas.”
Protherough said he was likely to make changes to his side to face newly-promoted Newport (Salop), with influential forward Norris expected to return today (Saturday), and he has urged his players to take the game by ‘the scruff of the neck’.
“Newport have come up and been very successful, winning three of their first six games, so it is obviously a big challenge,” he said.
“It is also a long trip and an early kick off, so there are a lot of things that we can make excuses about, but that’s the last thing we want to be doing.
“We want to go out there, be really positive, try to impose our game and don’t let them get a foothold in the game.”