The growing disparity in league status between the West Midlands’ leading rugby clubs has made setting the parameters for this year’s Birmingham Post Midlands XV a difficult exercise.
With Worcester’s full-time players in the Premiership, Moseley’s semi-professionals in the Championship and the semi-semi-professionals of Birmingham & Solihull, Stourbridge and Coventry in National One, it has been difficult to cross reference performances.
To make the exercise worthwhile therefore, I have little option but to utilise the critical mass at level three and draw my selection from Bees, Stour and Cov. I have, however, also selected my preferred Moseley XV and marked with an asterisk a handful of National League players with the potential to play in their Championship side.
The usual, amorphous criterion apply, these are not necessarily the best players just ones I have enjoyed watching and writing about during the 2011-12 campaign. The only stipulation I have made is that players must have made at least ten appearances. Moseley’s supremely gifted Glyn Hughes is the only exception with eight beauties.
The National One side is largely made up of Coventry and Bees players given the fact there were periods this season when those teams actually developed some consistency. That said the easiest selection belonged to Stourbridge, the clinical finishing of Nathan Bressington has been impossible to ignore.