Pete Barton will lead RCL XV with the objective to keep the Lux Cup in Boy Konen.
Interview Pete Barton, RCL's Captain: "We want to keep a level head and stay focused at the task at hand"
RCL is preparing to defend its unbeaten record against its neighbor Walferdange. Pete Barton, captain of the team, talks about the approach of this game which promises to be intense.
The team is back to training since mid-january, how do you feel the group a few weeks before receiving Walferdange?
We’ve had quite a long break since the start of Christmas, so it’s good to get the group back together and start building on our successes of the first half of the season. We have a few new guys in the group which is great, not just for our squad depth, but it really it adds a lot in terms of how well the team gels together. You can feel the excitement building as March 11th comes closer.
What's the stake in this game for RCL?
Obviously the Lux Cup is important to us, but we’re also keeping the bigger picture in mind that we are looking to earn promotion back into Bundesliga 1 again. So for us, the league and 5 points is the target, but the Lux Cup is of course a massive bonus.
Do you feel you must approach the game differently than any other?
Not particularly, we have said throughout the season that we want to keep a level head and stay focused at the task at hand, and especially towards the top of the table, the competition is very high, so we can’t get ahead of ourselves. But as Walferdange are our local rivals and we’re playing against a few familiar faces, with the added feature of the Lux Cup on the line, I know some of the boys will definitely be using that as a motivating factor to help lift us to that next level.
You won the first opposition against Walferdange, do you expect your opponents to present a different content in Cessange?
The pitch at Walferdange and the weather during the first fixture had a huge impact on how both teams played for sure. I think with Boy Konen being an artificial pitch and being a good bit bigger than Walferdange, we’ll definitely expect them to use the added width more than they did back in December. As I mentioned, we’re playing against lots of guys who we’ve played alongside in the past, so we know they’ll be really up for it, but as we’ve shown in the first half of the season, we’re able to give as good as we can take.
Personally, as a player or a Captain, can you tell more about your experience in RCL?
RCL is such a special club for a number of reasons. The fact that Luxembourg brings in people from across the globe, really benefits the rugby here. We can draw on experiences and knowledge from across the world, we have guys who have played in top leagues all across Europe, and that’s huge for developing our players and our style of play here at RCL.
Having arrived in Luxembourg at the start of 2020, RCL has been a key factor for me integrating into a new country and a new culture. Of course I was only asked to be captain at the start of this season, but I think we’re really fortunate that we have such a great group of guys, not just as players but guys you want to see outside of training and go for a coffee or a beer with.
Any message for people who might come supporting you on March 11th?
Absolutely to come along to what should be a great rugby spectacle. The rivalry between RCL and Walferdange is massive and I have no doubt with the fast pitch we will see some great flowing rugby!