Cross Keys captain Rob Nash makes Coventry switch
CAPTAIN Rob Nash has left Cross Keys for Coventry after catching the English club's eye in last weekend's pre-season friendly between the sides.
The openside flanker, who led the club to Swalec Cup glory at the Millennium Stadium in 2012, has been bought out of his contract by the West Midlanders.
The 26-year-old will now ply his trade in England's National One for Coventry, who are coached by former Newport Gwent Dragons lock Scott Morgan and boast one-cap Wales internationals Matthew Jones and Barry Davies in their ranks.
Nash made 105 appearances for the club after joining from Pontypool in 2008 and will be succeeded as club captain by centre Leon Andrews with number eight Adam Powell named as vice-captain.
The flanker, who played for Newport Gwent Dragons against Cornish Pirates in a 2010 pre-season friendly, has been the heartbeat of the Keys back row for five seasons.
And his tenacious, dogged approach in a 36-12 win at Pandy Park on Saturday has earned the builder a deal with the semi-professional Butts Park Arena outfit, who are spending big in a bid to return to the Championship.
"Nashy was outstanding against Coventry and they were quick to make their move," said head coach Greg Woods.
"We are sorry to see him go but this is a great opportunity for him and he will go down in the club's history after lifting the Swalec Cup.
"Nashy has been our leader and it will be strange being in the dressing room without him. He wasn't captain material when he first came to the club but grew into the role and was a warrior for Keys.
"We wish him all the best but life goes on and we have a ready-made replacement at openside flanker in (Dragons Academy product) Scott Matthews, whose progress will be accelerated, and a ready-made replacement at captain in Leon, who is one of the best players Cross Keys have ever had."