Richmond homecoming for Barnes boss

Wandsworth Guardian: Back to what you know: Barnes director of rugby Brett Taylor Back to what you know: Barnes director of rugby Brett Taylor

When Richmond and Barnes go head-to-head at the Athletic Ground tonight, the match will hold a special significance for Barnes director of rugby Brett Taylor.

As a former Richmond director of rugby – he helped them back in to the national leagues – it will be somewhat of a homecoming.

Taylor also spent two largely successful seasons with London Scottish, who share the Athletic Ground, where he won promotion to National Division One.

And he is looking forward to what will be a special night.

He said: “It is always a pleasure going back to Richmond.

“I have incredibly fond memories of my time as director of rugby, it is a great club, with a great history and support.

“They are doing brilliantly this year, which is a credit to all involved at the club.”

Unlike their neighbours, Barnes, who lost 46-26 to Hartpury College on Saturday and are struggling at the foot of the table this season, which Taylor admits has been difficult compared with last season when they won promotion to National Divsion Two South.

But he can see signs that things are changing.

“It has been tough. We have already used 52 players in the league campaign,” he added.

“To go from a season of winning every weekend to losing is hard, but the attitude and the improvements the players are making are huge.

“We just need to keep on the same track and keep believing we will win more games.”

Looking ahead to tonight’s game, though, the Barnes boss is expecting a tough test, but one which his team can pass after some encouraging performances.

“In the past three weeks we have played three of the top four sides,” he added.

“Richmond are the top team, but we can take encouragement from our performances against Henley and Hartpury. If we can perform to that level again it will be a competitive game.”

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