New yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath will give the club’s existing players until the end of the season to convince him they have the ability to help get the Headingley side in the Premiership.
Because in the summer, the 43-year-old former Gloucester and Sale chief, plans to add five to six new players to the spine of the team.
Redpath takes charge of his first game tomorrow at Plymouth Albion, a fixture that offers a neat symmetry to Carnegie’s season, given it was a lame draw against the bottom club at Headingley in November that spelled the end for Gary Mercer.
After a week under the guidance of former Scotland scrum-half Redpath, a more determined Yorkshire side is expected to take the field tomorrow, full of players hoping to prove their worth.
“Over the next two to three weeks we’ll see where we need to be,” said Redpath.
“I need to see everybody in the heat of the battle and whether they are at an age where they can keep improving to a level where we need them to be.
“There’s some great young talent but that young talent needs some old heads around it as well and see how they bounce off each other.
“There are some good players across the board, no question.
“But we need five or six players and over the next two to three weeks I’ll see where and how they will fit into that squad and who is available that will add to the squad.”
Given his Premiership pedigree, recruitment will be key for Redpath this summer, but he says he will not be bringing players in based on their reputation.
He said: “You obviously look at the spine of your team but to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of these lads play in the last couple of years.
“I’m not interested in reputations, I’m interested in the person and the product at the end of it, not what his CV says because a lot of CVs look great.
“A player can move from one big club to another but not play a lot of minutes.”
Of more immediate concern is trying to gatecrash the play-offs, something which will only be achieved by concentrating on the basics, believes Redpath.
“The little things are really important, whether that’s body height, your technique when clearing,” he said.
“Sometimes to be at the top end of the game – either as a player or as a coach – the little things that you do in a game generally win the contest.
“That little bit of detail can be the difference between a player playing in the Premiership or the Championship. If you become loose it becomes reckless.
“We have to be clean and disciplined in how we perform. We don’t want players cutting corners. When it goes wrong I need to make sure the senior players, and the spine of the team, make sure we get back on track.”
Starting tomorrow at Plymouth.