Mike Pope rejoins Bournemouth Rugby

Mike Pop joins Bournemouth Rugby

Caption: Mike Pope (left) with Will Croker, Director of Rugby © DK Capture

Bournemouth, Sport | Posted: Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 at 1:37 pm | return to news

Mike Pope rejoins Bournemouth Rugby

New signing for the Lions sees Mike Pope rejoin Bournemouth Rugby and described by Will Croker as the ``final piece of the jigsaw.``

Mike Pop joins Bournemouth Rugby

Caption: Mike Pope (left) with Will Croker, Director of Rugby © DK Capture

Mike Pope joins Bournemouth Rugby. The versatile 27-year-old playmaker is the third generation of his family to play for the club following in the footsteps of his father Alan and his grandfather – namesake Mike.

Director of rugby Will Croker described Mike Pope rejoining Bournemouth Rugby as “the final piece of the jigsaw.” Pope can operate at positions both nine and 10, giving Croker plenty of strength and depth in the halfback slots.

Croker revealed Pope will double up as ‘strength and conditioning’ coach following his Exeter University studies, and therefore will be a key player. Croker said, “Following on from the other signings we have made this summer, Mike Pope is one of the most important ones.

“He comes to us in the prime of his career as a 27-year-old, having just left Championship club Cornish Pirates and brings an enormous amount of experience.

“He played for Bournemouth as a youngster, so is another one who is returning to the club, having played his junior rugby at The Swans before coming across to Bournemouth, and then subsequently went to Exeter Chiefs while studying at Exeter University. We are absolutely delighted he is back at the club, and not only is he going to fill the role of strength and conditioning coach, but will also be an advisor on other elements of our game.

“From the organising of our defensive shape to some of our attacking threats, he is a huge, huge voice in the changing rooms and the boys really respect him.

Following on the back of Joe Tarrant, Karim Lynch, Hamish Rennick and Adam Higgins signing for us, he could well be the final piece in our squad’s jigsaw for this year so he is a huge signing.”

With another South West Premier promotion push expected following April’s play-off defeat to Guernsey, Croker is delighted to have him on board. Pope provides Croker with more options behind the scrum, and the director of rugby says he will be a huge indicator of the progress of his team-mates.

Croker added, “One of the other huge features of Mike’s game is his versatility – he is quite comfortable playing at scrum-half – which is where he played most of his rugby in The Championship, but he can also play at fly-half or on the wing and is blessed with real pace and a really, really high skill set so he is somebody who we are going to use as a barometer for how the boys in the squads’ key skills are improving.”

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