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Home > News > Nelson signals Lancashires bold intent
Your News Nelson signals Lancashires bold intent

LANCASHIRE head coach Mark Nelson will be locking horns with former Sale Sharks colleague Paul Turner when his side meet Hertfordshire on Sunday in the final of the Bill Beaumont Cup (4.30pm) and he predicts that the contest will mirror a shared coaching philosophy which embraces guile and finesse ahead of brute force.

Nelson is both a great friend and staunch admirer of the Welshman – who he unashamedly canvasses as an obvious choice to take on a coaching role at Edgeley Park – and feels that the product of this meeting of kindred spirits will be a match in which the ball is in the hand at every opportunity and turgid stereotypical power rugby will not be a feature.

“Before our last game against Cheshire, we agreed that the result was the only objective and we did not worry about how we should achieve a win.” says Nelson: “At Twickenham our primary target to put on a performance.

“We’ll look to play from anywhere on the field and knowing Paul and speaking to him for a while today, I know that’s the way Hertfordshire will approach the game.

“For what it’s worth, I’d encourage everybody at the Barbarians game to grab a beer and stay on to watch the Bill Beaumont Cup final.”

Nelson’s rugby mantra involves intelligent use of space rather than addiction to ‘power and bosh’ as he describes it and he claims that the game at the top level needs an intellectual overhaul which empowers players to think on their feet and see the full range of options open to them.

“Since I’ve worked again with Brian Ashton at Fylde I’ve been very much influenced by this thinking and he’s given me back a clarity of purpose. I know what I should be about as a coach and I’ve tried to instil that into the Lancashire players.” says Nelson. “Paul Turner is from the same school of thought, which is why I think we will see an entertaining match.

“Coaching is about empowering players to understand the game and perform. But some modern-day coaches are terrified of that concept. Our lads might not be as physical as the Premiership players, but many have a better understanding of the game.

“It’s a great weekend for Rugby, with the Premiership final on Saturday, the England v Barbarians game on Sunday as the warm-up to the main event, Hertfordshire v Lancashire.”

The Red Rose men, who are seeking a record 21st win in the competition and their third in succession, have four changes to their Semi-final starting line-up.

Chris Briers comes in at centre, with Tom Hughes going onto the wing in the only changes behind the scrum, while up front, Alex Loney resumes at hooker and Gareth Rawlings is back in the second-row after dropping out last week.

Lancashire: Adam Armstrong (Barking); Tom Hughes (Preston G), Chris Briers (Rotherham), Matt Riley (Sedgley Park) capt, Oliver Brennand (Fylde); Alex Davies (Plymouth Albion), Steve Collins (Fylde); Dan Birchall (Sedgley Park), Alex Loney (Rotherham), Peter Altham (Fylde), Louis McGowan (Rotherham), Gareth Rawlings (Longton), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Steve McGinnis (Fylde), Juan Crous (Sedgley Park).

Replacements: Simon Griffiths (LSH), Mark Rylance (Caldy), Grant Ferguson (Fylde), Paul Arnold (Fylde), Matt Charters (Preston G), James Moore (Vale of Lune), Chris Johnson (Huddersfield).

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