Martin Haag backs Championship XV side to impress against Canada
Championship XV head coach Martin Haag is looking forward to Canada clash on Saturday
Nottingham head coach Martin Haag is adopting a slightly different role this week as he takes charge of a Greene King IPA Championship XV side set to test their mettle against international outfit Canada.
And although bringing together a group of players that haven’t played alongside each other before presents its challenges, Haag has backed his team to prove just how much talent the Championship possesses.
Haag put his players – picked from all 12 Championship clubs – through their first training session on Wednesday in the shadow of Sixways stadium, the home of Worcester Warriors and the venue for Sunday’s showdown.
Team cohesion and understanding will prove fundamental to any success they may have and Haag insists his side won’t let the opportunity to showcase their skills pass.
“We have a fantastic group of players here, a very strong group, I am really pleased with it and I am hoping they gel together enough to show the crowd and the people at home that the Championship is a great competition,” saig Haag.
“Training has been going very well. We are looking at organisation and give the basics to the lads in terms of what we want to achieve and then go out and execute.
“We have some young guys starting out on their rugby careers in the Championship, guys who have been involved with academies and have dropped down a level to get more game time and some who have played ten years in the championship.
“They are a lot of opportunities for these lads and for a lot of them playing against an international team like Canada is probably once in a lifetime and to represent the Championship is a great honour.
“We need to give the guys an opportunity to get to know each other so we are doing stuff off the field as well, and then it is going to be about Sunday and playing on a fantastic surface in a fantastic stadium.”
The Canadians, ranked 17th in the world, face the Championship XV in what is the first of four fixtures in November, which will see them also take on Namibia, Samoa and Romania.
And while he knows the task in front of his side is vast, Haag has challenged his side to give their opponents a harsh welcome when they run out at Sixways.
“Canada will be a physical team and one that will be chomping at the bit to play against us,” he added. “They are going to be looking further afield in terms of the three games they play after us so they will want to get a place.
“Sixways is great and having been involved with teams who have played here and the noise it creates, it will be a great occasion and the guys should be really excited.”
Support your club players in the Championship XV v Canada on November 2nd at Sixways Stadium. Tickets available online at www.warriors.co.uk