Banbury Bulls head coach James Kerr faces more injury problems ahead of Saturday’s Midlands Two West South fixture with Nuneaton Old Edwardians at Bodicote Park.
On top of the heavy defeat at Newbold-on-Avon, Bulls lost key players through injury.
George Grieve picked up a bad shoulder injury which required surgery, ending his season prematurely, Jacob Mills will miss the next three games after being concussed at Newbold, Sam Mills has an ankle injury and Steve Nutt is ruled out with a shoulder injury for a couple of weeks.
Simon Brand is still sidelined and Nick Pratt, who missed the game at Newbold, is rated only 50-50 to return on Saturday at Bodicote Park where 17-year-old Tom Arnold could make his full debut after being on the bench in recent games.
Kerr said: “It’s a huge blow for the club and for George [Grieve]. I coached him for the county under-18 side so I know what a good player he is. But I’m sure he will come back stronger and we will help him all we can to get him back to match fitness.”
Kerr says his side will not give up their promotion push until it’s out of reach, adding: “All is not lost and we need to keep our objective the same. If we beat Old Laurentians and Newbold also beat them, then there is still a chance we can get the play-off position but we’re going to have to win every game.”
Looking back on Saturday’s defeat, Kerr said: “We’re the only team to beat Newbold this season and we knew it was always going to be a tough place to go and get a result.
“They were the best team we’ve played so far. They were a complete side, well structured with high intensity and we just couldn’t match them physically.
“But we played some good rugby in the latter stages and the players kept going right to the end of the 80 minutes despite the score line.”