NEWS

James Ferry has extended his loan at Nuneaton Town until the end of the season.
Having just completed a one month loan at the National League North side, it has been agreed by both clubs that Ferry will continue to benefit from First Team football.

For Boro boss Dino Maamria it was a fantastic signing.
He said: "I am very, very happy to keep James until the end of the season now.
"He had the chance to sign with teams higher up the leagues, but he was happy here, he wanted to keep working with us and we were pleased to keep him.
"Stevenage have done us a favour and hopefully he will continue to develop as he has done."

Ferry is the second player in less than a week to increase his loan spell as Jordan Nicholson also signed on until the end of the season last week.
Maamria said: "Jordan, James, Ryan Johnson who has come in from Stevenage, they are all here until the end of the season now and they are big players here now.

"It gives us something to build on in the rest of the games we have and hopefully our form will continue with them in the team."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young admitted that his side's interest in Europe was over after their 33-28 last minute loss at Harlequins.

The black-and-golds had raced into a 21 point lead in the first-half but were made to pay for a leaky defence which conceded three tries in the last 15 minutes.


Young's men also had flanker James Haskell sent off in the defeat for a dangerous tackle in what turned into a heartbreaking night at The Stoop.

And Wasps' boss was under no illusions that his team can no qualify for the knock-out stages, despite it being mathematically possible.

"I think Europe's over for us yes," he said, "I've said coming into these two games I think we have to win both games.

"I thought we maybe needed nine points and the two points we got tonight isn't good enough. But that won't change my focus going into next week.

"We're at the Ricoh so we want to win whatever it may be. If a miracle happens happy days but they don't tend to happen too much in Coventry.

"We should have been comfortable and seen the game out but we found a way to lose. That's a hugely disappointing factor for us."

Young pointed to his side's appetite to defend when under pressure after, a theme that has surfaced in recent weeks.

"I think we got what we deserved at the end," Wasps' boss added, "we'd won that game three times. We made some really basic errors.

"We kicked out on the full, kicked the ball away when we didn't need to, and that's not one person, that was five or six guys. We showed a lack of appetite to defend.

"We're not making teams work hard enough for their points and teams are scoring points against us far too easily. We've been lucky in past three or four games.

"If we want to be one of the best teams in Europe and the Premiership, saving a try is just as important as scoring a try."

asps lost centre Kyle Eastmond, who has suffered an injury hit season since returning in November, after 55 minutes, but Young was confident this was just pre-cautionary.

"Kyle was struggling in the last couple of weeks on the injury front," he said, "so I was really pleased to get 50 minutes out of him.

Coventry Bees will return to competitive racing next season - in the bottom league of British speedway and almost 30 miles away from the club’s traditional home.

The move was confirmed in a short statement from the Speedway Control Bureau, with the club due to host home meetings in Leicester.


Coventry Bees have been left homeless ever since Bees boss Mick Horton failed to secure a deal to race at their former Brandon Stadium track in late 2016. That followed a bitter legal row between new land owners Brandon Estates and former stadium and Coventry Bees owner Avtar Sandhu.

The disagreements ultimately led to the Bees being kicked out of the top flight of British speedway in February 2017.

Since that time, the Bees have not raced competitively - but have taken part in a number of challenge meetings across the country.

New Coventry Bees owner Mick Horton first raised the possibility of reviving Bees in the lower leagues during a Telegraph interview in May 2017.

The Telegraph has attempted to contact Mr Horton for comment on this latest development.

What will happen next season?
The team is set to race in the National League, two leagues below the top flight the Bees used to compete in, when the new season starts later his year.

A statement from the Speedway Control Bureau read: “Following on from a meeting with the members of the Speedway Control Bureau and Mr Mick Horton, it is with great delight that Coventry Speedway have been given the go ahead to run the Coventry Bees in the National Development League at a temporary home at Leicester for the 2018 season.

“The members of the SCB wish the Coventry Promotion all the best in their endeavours to bring the Bees back to Brandon in the near future.”

Why the drop?
Speaking to the Telegraph in May last year, Mr Horton said: “If we were to track share, we could only do that as a National League team.

“Fans are not going to travel to pay for running an Elite League team.

“Elite League teams need to bring in £18,000 to £19,000 per meeting to cover the stadium rent and the cost of home and away wages.

“That drops to about £4,000 to £5,000 for a National League team.”

The owners of Brandon Stadium have insisted they have taken reasonable steps to secure the site - despite travellers repeatedly setting up illegal camps on the land, vandalism of buildings and a turnstile block being destroyed by fire.

A puppy was also found trapped in a storage room after the latest in a series of traveller encampments was moved on by police this week.


Save Coventry Speedway campaigner Jeff Davies told the Telegraph residents in the area have been left “terrified” and are “living in fear” following a fire at the stadium this week, which police believe was started deliberately.

In light of recent events, the Telegraph put questions to land owners Brandon Estates about the security arrangements in place.

Brandon Estates
A spokesman for Brandon Estates said: “The security measures that Brandon Estates Ltd have put in place are precisely those recommended by Rugby Borough Council and its independent legal barrister.

“A great number of measures have been implemented, strictly in accordance with the advice from Rugby Borough Council, including staging the entrance to the stadium, fitting special locks and a VPS alarm system, a security team who visit the site daily, erasing the signs saying Coventry Speedwayand erecting numerous signs warning of the danger of being on the site.

“Brandon Estates are concerned that gypsies entered the site, and that a fire was started. Brandon Estates assures speedway fans and all members of the public that efforts will be made to ensure that no further fires break out on site.

“West Midlands Police have issued a Notice pursuant to Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to remove the gypsies and to ensure no further illegal incursions.”

Council
Rugby Borough Council slapped a Community Protection Notice on the land in September, 2017. That included a condition that the site must be secured against encroachments by travellers.

But it has emerged that the notice is not yet active after Brandon Estates, which is in the process of applying to build 137 houses on the site, has appealed against having to conform to the notice. A hearing in relation to that is scheduled for next month.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council previously told the Telegraph: “The council served a Community Protection Notice on Brandon Estates on September 26, 2017. The terms of the notice included securing the stadium site.

“Brandon Estates has lodged an appeal against the notice, with a court hearing scheduled to take place on February 6, 2018. However, talks between the council and Brandon Estates are continuing in an attempt to reach an amicable agreement to achieve compliance with the notice.”

Security
Mr Davies said he had concerns about how well the site had been secured.

He told the Telegraph: “Residents are terrified, they are living in fear. This has been made possible because of the owners’ failure to secure the site.

“There are three gates to that stadium for vehicle access. All they have to do is secure those three gates.

“It’s shocking and heartbreaking that this has been allowed to happen right in front of us.”

Wasps boss Dai Young is hoping South African centre Juan de Jongh will be available for his side's Champions Cup clash with Ulster.

de Jongh was replaced at half-time in the loss against Saracens a fortnight ago due to a tight hamstring and he was forced to sit out the last-gasp defeat to Harlequins last Saturday.


The 21-time capped Springbok has made an impressive impact at the Ricoh since arriving from Super Rugby side the Stormers last summer, making 16 appearances and scoring two tries.

Wasps are in the midst of an injury crisis at centre, with Elliot Daly, Gaby Lovobalavu and Jimmy Gopperth all on the sidelines until mid-February at best, while Kyle Eastmond has only recently returned.

This has meant that fringe men Guy Armitage and Brendan Macken have stepped into the first-team, with both making good displays across the last two matches.

Eastmond was withdrawn in the defeat at The Stoop after 55 minutes and Young said afterwards that it was a precautionary measure.

And Wasps' boss is now expecting de Jongh to hand him a much needed injury boost ahead of the clash with Ulster.

"Juan should be back hopefully," he said, "we didn't make any tactical subs at the weekend.

"Thomas Young came off because of a bang on his knee, he was limping about, but he's back in training now.

"Kyle Eastmond was just cramping up everywhere really, because he's been out for so long and hasn't been able to put many training sessions together, but he's going to be fine.

 

"Simon McIntyre had a kick in his hamstring which made it a bit swollen but he should be OK for this weekend."


Despite this positive news, Young can still only pick from 27 fit players, with first-choice men such as Matt Mullan and Nathan Hughes still ruled out.

"We haven't lost anybody, I think it's the first week for a while we haven't lost a player so that was pleasing," Young added.

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