Vickery inspires Newent for crunch Vase clash
WORLD Cup winner Phil Vickery can inspire Newent to RFU Junior Vase quarter-final success at Chesham tomorrow, believes head coach Andy Addis.
England, British Lions and Gloucester legend Vickery was on hand at training last night, to help invoke some Raging Bull spirit in Newent's Green Army.
The Recreation Ground men are just two wins away from a trip to Twickenham, and this week Addis has employed a host of Cherry and Whites stalwarts to buoy up their cup charge.
Gloucester Academy boss Andrew Stanley assisted at training on Tuesday night, while ex-Kingsholm scrum-half Pete Kingston is a vital part of Newent's regular coaching line-up.
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Unbeaten Newent have blasted 15 straight wins to sit top of Gloucester One, and Addis concedes promotion remains top priority.
But he said his developing side's spirit and strong sense of community gives them just as much confidence as their impressive win-record.
Delighted to have had Vickery on hand, Addis explained: "I just wanted to get their heads in the right place, to make sure they are switched on.
"And we were lucky enough that Phil Vickery helped us out and came down to have a chat to them.
"They didn't know about it in advance.
"We did our usual preparation training session but then at the end Phil spoke to the players about Saturday's game.
"The players have been doing so well that the pressure is all on me, to keep doing that bit more, to try to find ways to keep pushing them.
"I'm very lucky to have Pete Kingston there, he brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas.
"And we had Andrew Stanley come down on Tuesday, which was great.
"For him to come out to spartan Newent, when compared to the Hartpury surroundings, that was a great help."
Addis answered Newent's distress call in December 2011, taking up his first senior coaching role after years at youth levels.
After losing the first three games, Newent then powered through unbeaten to the end of last season.
Throw in their flawless league record so far this term, and it is not hard to see why Newent make tomorrow's trip in fine fettle.
Addis' men dispatched New Cross 33-10 on February 2 to set up tomorrow's last-eight clash (kick-off 2pm).
He has backed his side to adapt to whatever comes their way, especially after holding out when reduced to 13 men with two yellow cards in last week's 23-8 league win at Longlevens.
He said: "We're lucky to be coaching and playing at a club in a great community.
"That definitely helps the spirit and the determination of the side.
"We're always trying to test the boys to make them make the decisions on the field.
"So if our natural game doesn't work, then they've got to adapt and try something else.
"We'll play our way on Saturday and if it works it works, and if it doesn't we will shake hands with them and we're done.
"The spirit of the boys last week was massive once again.
"We took a lot of young players last week, and we still coped.
"I've got complete confidence in these boys.
"It's not just that we've been able to score well, we've been able to close teams down as well.
"The second team are top of their league too, and I couldn't be more proud of these boys."