Lewis had been looking forward to coaching Devon in the County Championship

28 Apr 2020 09:33 | Devon RFU

DEVON should have been enjoying their final preparation for the County Championship today with a trip down to St Austell to play big rivals Cornwall in the annual Tamar Cup.

New Devon head coach Mike Lewis had been looking forward to the fixture and a chance to go head-to-head with his former boss Graham Dawe.

But neither the Tamar Cup nor the County Championship will be happening this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m sure it would have been a fantastic game down at St Austell,” said Lewis. “We would have had a few more training sessions under our belt and I think we would have grown that bit more.

“It would have been a real tough game to win, depending on what side they put out, but I think it would have been a real positive and competitive match.”

Former Plymouth Albion lock Lewis, who has guided Devonport Services to South West One, said it had been an honour to be asked to coach Devon, having represented them as a player himself.

He had been enjoying the training sessions they had already held before the coronavirus pandemic put an end to all rugby actitives.

“The vibe we had from each training session was that people were enjoying the experience, which is fantastic, and it rubbed off on us,” said Lewis. “Me and Josh (Skelcey) were both really enjoying it.

“We felt the numbers were going to grow and that people were really starting to buy into it.

“There’s always that bit of trepidation when new people come in with new ideas. But we weren’t trying to move mountains, just subtlety adapting what was already there.

“And, like I said, we felt there was a good vibe from the players, coaches and team managers.”

Devon did have one outing before the Covid-19 crisis took hold, beating an Ivybridge XV 39-12 at Brickfields.

“That Ivybridge game was a real good run out and a good tempo game,” said Lewis. “It was a chance to see what guys were about.

“We thought it was fantastic that some players from level eight and nine played against level five players and did not look out of place. That’s what county rugby is about.”