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Coventry agree to three extensions, including Patrick Pellegrini deal

By Liam Heagney
Tonga's Patrick Pellegrini is staying on at Coventry (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images)

Championship high-flyers Coventry have celebrated the end of another promising season by confirming that Tonga out-half Patrick Pellegrini, former England back-rower Matt Kvesic and engine room talisman James Tyas have all signed contract extensions for 2024/25.

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Alex Rae’s side finished third last season, 11 points behind champions Jersey, and they are currently placed second, four points behind leaders Ealing.

However, with their 20-game campaign over, they are likely to lose hold of the runners-up spot as third-place Cornish Pirates still have one game remaining.

Video Spacer

Patrick Pellegrini on his incredible RWC 2023 try vs the Springboks

The Coventry and Tonga fly-half talks about the brilliant try he scored against the World Champions in France

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Patrick Pellegrini on his incredible RWC 2023 try vs the Springboks

The Coventry and Tonga fly-half talks about the brilliant try he scored against the World Champions in France

Consecutive third-place finishes would still be quite an achievement, though, teeing Coventry up for what they hope can be a title-winning season next term.

A statement on their contract extensions read: “Coventry have received a major boost with the confirmation that Tongan World Cup star Pat Pellegrini plus former England flanker Matt Kvesic and experienced lock James Tyas will again be part of their squad next season.

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“Back-to-back top-three finishes have thrust Cov into the spotlight as title contenders for 2024/25, and a lot of this progress has been down to a group of players that really buy into the ethos created by head coach Alex Rae plus his coaching and support team.

“Pellegrini’s 2023/24 Coventry campaign began slightly late due to his call-up by Tonga for a Rugby World Cup campaign in which he scored a memorable try against double world champions South Africa.

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“Since returning to Butts Park Arena, the fly-half has continued to produce the form that earned him international honours, finishing the Championship campaign as the league’s top points scorer.

“He has also created and finished any number of thrilling tries with the trademark sidestep and explosive pace that makes him such a favourite with the Butts Park faithful.

“Kvesic joined the blue-and-whites a year ago and has since gone on to be one of the Championship’s most consistent performers.

“Operating in all three back row positions, the 32-year-old has started 22 of his club’s 25 competitive games this season. In addition to his breakdown skills and powerful ball-carrying, Kvesic has brought invaluable experience to Rae’s young squad.

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“Experienced second row forward Tyas, has signed a new contract that extends his stay at the Butts Park Arena into a fourth year. A measure of Tyas’ importance is that he has started 22 games this season. Indeed, all 61 of his Coventry appearances to date have been as part of the run-on line-up – a very rare feat indeed.

“The details of Tyas’ on-field contribution only tell half the tale, however, since he is also in charge of the club’s analysis team via his company Pro View and is responsible for running Cov’s lineout.”

Coach Rae said: “It’s great to have Pat on board again. There are not many fly-halves who play the way he does. He has played a huge part in the way we want to attack and entertain people. His work ethic and desire to become even better are really impressive and on top of all that he cares deeply and is a fantastic person.

“We also feel very lucky to have a player and person of Matt’s calibre. The way he conducts himself day to day is a great example to our younger players of what a true professional looks like and his performances have been really consistent this season.

“Since James arrived, he has been one of the most consistent performers who every week gives everything he’s got and sets a brilliant example. He is obsessed with getting better every day and is exactly the kind of person we want to be working with and is very much someone for younger players to look up to.”

Tyas added: “I’m already really excited about the future. We have made progress every year and after talking to Alex and Nick (Johnston) their plans for next year are something I really want to be involved with.

“Working with our coaching group has taken my game to another level – I feel challenged and pushed by them to keep improving. I believe I have a few more good years in me and want to spend them seeing just how far we can go as a club.”

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