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RUGBY: Taunton coaches return to their old stomping ground
4:00pm Friday 21st March 2014 in Sport
TAUNTON Titans travel down the A30 to Polson Bridge to take on the Cornish All Blacks tomorrow (2.30pm) in what could be a must-win game for the home side.
The Launceston team are at present sitting in the third relegation place and have been in a bit of turmoil over recent weeks.
They have lost influential player Mike Rawlins, who has had to retire due to injury, and also have a new temporary director of rugby in the guise of Neil Bayliss who took over from the departed Spike Rainford.
A run of poor results, including losing their unbeaten home record, has seen them slip down the table.
However Taunton will have to be on their best to get anything out of this game as Launceston on their own pitch who are fighting for survival will be a tough nut to crack – something that the current Titans coaching staff know only too well.
Head coach Tony Yapp played at Launceston for a season while they were in the Championship before moving up to Hyde Park.
Team manager Keith Brooking spent five seasons at Launceston and played, captained and coached them in his time at the club.
And forwards coach Chris Brown coached both Tony and Keith while he was joint head coach at the club and helped Launceston to two promotions.
One promotion was into National League one and the other into the Championship.
All three have fond memories of the club but also know that when the chips are down the close-knit players will dig deep and produce mammoth performances so see them through.
The Titans, after last week’s game, have a few injured players that will have late fitness tests.
But they will welcome back some players who have been missing due to Six Nations representative games for various age groups as well as some of the Exeter University side players who are in the semi-final of the BUSA Cup where they take on Leeds Metropolitan for a place in the final at Twickenham.
However with these players missing some of the younger players have been getting more game time and have staked a claim not just for a starting place in the team but also for a place in the squad for next season as well.