FOCUS ON CHAMPIONSHIP
What has changed after Ealing’s second-place finish last season? One of the glaring factors is that head coach Alex Codling left. He took care of a lot of things here. Then things didn’t work out with James Buckland (who left after the opening game). It’s difficult. With 26 or 27 new players, it will take time for us to find out how we play. You’ve still had big early wins. What’s made that possible?
We pride ourselves on our work-rate. I’ve heard people say that we just play one way, that we spin it wide-wide. But we are comfortable bringing our work-rate. Who has stood out in green so far? In the back row Ben Landry has been really useful for us, both on and off the field, and Jordy Reid has also been great there. We have a few injuries and have had to make a few changes in the front row, but it’s worked. Pat Howard at 12 does everything you want of a centre, too. How competitive will the Championship be this season?
This is my third season here. It might be a bit slower than the Premiership but it is no less of a slog. The loss against London Irish could have gone better (7-20), but against Cornish Pirates we were around 20 points down and ended up winning by six points (41-35).
We need to be relentless. When we are ahead we need to keep playing, not go into our shells. First halves and starts have been good. How big are the ambitions here? I’ve seen some articles saying that Ealing are ‘bullish’ about wanting to get promoted to the Premiership. We just set our sights really high.
If you’re not going for that ultimate goal, what’s the point? Any player who says that they don’t want to play at that top level is lying.
Over the line Scoring in the 42-24win over Yorkshire
Big carry Smid at work