Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Ward: We must head to Nottingham with confidence

Ealing Trailfinders’ rise up the rugby ranks in recent years has been remarkable and Director of Rugby Ben Ward has his eyes firmly fixed on another successful year.

Ward has been at the club throughout its renaissance having signed for Trailfinders in 2004 as a player, and took over from Mike Cudmore as Director of Rugby a decade later after Ealing were relegated from the Greene King IPA Championship.

The club bounced back immediately though and have progressed so far that they can be called genuine title contenders this term. Nottingham stand in their way this weekend however as they look to keep the pressure on unbeaten Bristol at the top of the league table.

Second-placed Trailfinders travel to Lady Bay on Sunday and Ward admits that while they may seem close to the finished article in the Championship, his charges still have a point to prove.

“We’re an ambitious group. We’re looking to progress. We’d love to go to the Premiership. Are we ready yet? I don’t think we’re far off but we’re not quite there,” he said.

“It’s not an easy step up to make now but we want to make it. It’s difficult to compete with the sides that have been relegated though. It’s our job to be right on Bristol’s tails and hopefully get the right results.

“There are things we need to sort out but when you see where we have come from, the club has come on a huge amount. It’s important the people that come here are ambitious.”

Nottingham have been flying high themselves this year in the Greene King IPA Championship with five wins from their eight games, and Ward knows his side will need to put in a big defensive shift if they’re to keep Nottingham at bay on Sunday afternoon.

“They’ve done really well, especially given they’ve only had three home games so far. They’re very well coached and they play good, attacking rugby,” he added.

“Defensively, we know it’s going to be a huge challenge and we know that’s something we need to focus on. On the flip side, we must have the confidence to implement our game as well.

“We need to keep the ball well and when we create opportunities, come away with points.”