Salisbury – Team of the Month (January 2012)
Posted 437 days ago
He hasn’t gone quite as far as ex-Springbok coach Harry Viljoen, who once banned his team from kicking in a Test against Argentina. But Mark Bugden is preaching the same message at Salisbury – with stunning results. “I may be a second-row,” says Bugden, “but I’m an advocate of running rugby. I like to see the ball being moved around.”
MD of a local construction company, head coach Bugden set about dismantling Salisbury’s more rigid playing style after taking the reins towards the end of the 2009-10 season. The ‘heads up’ style was rewarded with last year’s Southern Counties South title, and the loss of nine squad members last summer hasn’t affected momentum, a core of ex-colts filling the breach with aplomb.
Prop Luke Esnouf, a mobile and dynamic ball-carrier who with wing Tom Pottage is one of the league’s top try-scorers, typifies the new Salisbury approach. So, too, back-row brothers James and Jonny Kay, part of a team that romped through January with wins against Swindon (46-14), Witney (38-0), Olney (67-0) and Buckingham (17-16) to cement second spot in South-West One East.
Their push for top spot – and instant promotion – has been facilitated by specialist sprint and fitness coaches, the appointment of a second-team coach, Richie Appleton, and the recent launch of a coaching academy to raise the skill levels of 30-odd youngsters from non rugby-playing schools. Bishop Wordsworth, where Bugden played in the same XV as Worcester DoR Richard Hill, is the only rugby school in the city.
Check out December’s Team of the Month
This article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.
Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here.
For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.