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Rouse Ready to Lead Green and Whites in Crunch Match

NIC Rouse is relishing the chance to lead Nottingham in Sunday's (February 24) British and Irish Cup Pool 8 show-down with Llandovery.

Rouse lineout

STEP UP: Nic Rouse will captain Nottingham in the crunch Cup clash against Llandovery on Sunday. PIC: Steve Galloway.

The lock, 32, will captain the Green and Whites in the game that will determine which team progresses to the quarter-finals of the cross-border competition. Flanker and regular skipper Brent Wilson will be rested for the match.

Rouse is no stranger to captaining the side, having taken on the part-time responsibilities in his first spell with the club before moving to the Premiership with Sale.

Nottingham can top the group and earn a spot in the knock-out stage of cup if they score a comprehensive bonus-point win over the Welsh visitors. But a four-try bonus will not be enough alone, with the Green and Whites needing to deny the visitors a losing bonus point of any sort.

"It is always a great honour," Rouse said.

"This is a big occasion for me because I haven't skippered Nottingham for a few years now, but it is also a huge game for the club on Sunday as we fight to top the group and win a place in the quarter-finals.

"It is a great game to come back to Meadow Lane for, because everyone is hungry to get out there and play. We are still focused on bouncing back from the loss at London Scottish and we are even more determined after the debacle at Jersey last week."

Changes to Nottingham's hierarchy don't stop with Rouse's promotion, as forwards coach Neil Fowkes is again named as head coach Martin Haag's replacement for the day.

Fowkes and backs coach Ben Johnson have shared head coaching duties between them throughout the Cup campaign.

Last time the 32-year-old took the reins of the Green and Whites, the East Midlands club stormed to a 54-24 win over Scottish side Melrose.

"I've only taken charge of one game, but a 100 per cent record does sound pretty good," Fowkes said.

"This is certainly one great opportunity for me and great stage to prove myself - a lot is riding on this game."     



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