RUGBY: Captain’s curse at St Andrews

Jamie Clynes
Jamie Clynes

Jamie Clynes takes over from injured skipper Gary Curtis

Club captaincy at Rugby St Andrews is becoming something of a poisoned chalice as Gary Curtis becomes the latest to succumb to the captain’s injury curse.

It is now confirmed that he will miss the rest of the season and need knee surgery for damage ironically sustained during a coaching session with the club’s under 15s. This just about sums up his and the clubs ill fortune this year.

Fly half Jamie Clynes formally takes over as skipper and is no stranger to the role, having already led the side for most of the season and having deputised for Matt Butlin when he was sidelined last year.

Jamie’s ambition to partner younger brother Liam at half back belatedly came to fruition, when the scrum half returned to first team rugby after his long injury lay off. Unfortunately it was a brief partnership as Liam’s problems recurred and he has now rejoined the ever increasing non availability list.

Saints have always had a proud family tradition and the Clynes brothers are third generation players. Their grandfather played fly half during the 50s and early 60s and father Bill more recently played and was also a respected and successful coach for the Minis and Juniors.

Jamie is aware that this is going to be a difficult year with so many key players missing but is confident that the players who are stepping up will quickly gain experience and confidence and the team will start to climb the table.

Midland East 3 remains unpredictable with surprise results each week. Unbeaten Oundle lead after five games with Long Buckby in close pursuit with a single defeat. All the other teams have lost at least two games.

A Saints victory at St Neots this weekend would lift them above their opponents and into the closely contested mid table. Both clubs will be aware of the importance of this game and a hard fought contest in the first ever league meeting between them is anticipated.