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Free game gift to Cov fans; Cardiff the opposition as club says thanks.

Byline: By John Wilkinson

COVENTRY will renew rivalries with Welsh giants Cardiff next month with the club offering free admission to say 'thank you' to all the fans and wellwishers who have supported the successful appeal to keep them in National Division One.

The two will meet for the first time in two decades at the Butts Park Arena on Friday, August 22 (7.30pm).

Traditional rivals in preleague days, the two clubs have not met since September 1989 when Cov suffered a narrow 16-10 defeat at Coundon Road.

Cov begin their build-up with a trip to Aberavon on August 9 (2.30pm) before a home meeting with Stourbridge on August 16 (3pm).

A fans forum is also planned in the build up to the first league game, at Plymouth Albion on August 30, when director of rugby Phil Maynard and club's coaches and playing staff will answer questions.

Other initiatives aimed at raising the profile of the club will follow.

"We are looking at all sorts of things as ways building up support for the club and bringing in children and families," said chairman Andrew Green.

"We still have a number of issues to resolve, but we are slowly ticking them off and we have been overwhelmed by the strength of feeling for the club that has emerged in the past three weeks."

Season ticket sales are currently running at half of last year's figure, but Green is hopeful that things will improve now that the club's status has been guaranteed.

"The club has been in limbo over what has been a very difficult period for everyone," he said.

"But the commercial department has been working very hard and a couple of companies have already responded to the news by committing themselves to the club. This is so important to the club, and hopefully more will follow."

Although the Rugby Football Union has allowed for Cov to carry on playing, the Bond appeal remains open and fundraising must go on to push towards the pounds 100,000 target.

You can contribute by cash or cheque at any branch of Coventry Building Society quoting account number 60786949.

Cheques should be made payable to "Coventry Rugby Club Trust." If you have internet banking you can make a direct payment quoting the Society's sortcode 40-63-01 and account number 60786949. You do not need to quote an additional reference number.

The welfare of the fund will be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees managing the Coventry Rugby Club Appeal.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 5, 2008
Words:417
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