YORKSHIRE Carnegie could bring new forwards coach Steve Boden into their ranks as early as next week once he has finished his commitments with current club – today’s opponents Jersey.
Carnegie play their final regular round of the Championship season in the Channel Islands this afternoon with third place already secured and a play-off semi-final first leg against Doncaster Knights booked in at Headingley next Sunday.
Boden, at Jersey for the last four years initially as a player, was named as the club’s forward coach for 2016-17 earlier this week but head coach Bryan Redpath admits he could come on board in time for the top-four eliminators.
That would be interesting, especially given he spent seven years with Carnegie’s play-off rivals Doncaster, playing 188 games before moving to Jersey.
On whether Boden, set to replace Dave Baldwin who moves to a new role of rugby manager, could start early, Redpath said: “We will look at that when he finishes his domestic season this Saturday.
“We’ll consider whether we feel it’s right to integrate him with us for the play-offs.
“Dave’s done a good job and he’s obviously taking on a new role.
“We certainly won’t put any disruption into our players and what’s gone for the last nine or ten months but if the feeling is right we will bring him in.”
Carnegie will today get a taste of what they may soon benefit from themselves when they face Jersey, renowned for having one of the best packs in the Championship.
On Boden’s assets, Redpath said: “Jersey have got a good scrum, a good drive, a good defensive scrum, a good defensive drive and contact area stuff, too.
“He’ll bring that freshness; he’s got some new strong ideas around that set piece area
“We can’t forget how well Dave’s done this season but I said to him 12 months ago that if we need to develop as a group of players – or as a club itself – and needed to change face a little but, I believed Dave had certain attributes.
“He was okay with that and understood my views.
“I believe Steve has good pedigree and makes players care about the club – he’s from the area, played here earlier in his career, played in the Championship and coached in it.
“He adds a new lease life; sometimes it’s not a fault in someone else, just a choice from me.”
Redpath says Fred Burdon and Chris Jones are missing today due to the seven-day concussion protocol after suffering head knocks in the win against Nottingham but will be fit for Doncaster.
Similarly, full-back Jonah Holmes will be ready for that first leg, too, after his own injury problems.
Jersey boss Harvey Biljon has made three changes to his starting line-up. Aaron Penberthy, who is still in talks about his future at the club, gets a rare start at fly-half in place of regular 10 Brendan Cope. Nick Selway replaces Joe Buckle at hooker, while Uili Kolo’ofa’i starts at No 8 in place of Nick Haining.
Captain Alex Rae plays for the final time before replacing Boden as forwards coach.