Time for Bury’s Rush to stake his claim for a starring role

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Director of rugby Gavin Hogg has challenged Jesse Rush to make the number 10 shirt his own ahead of Bury’s final game of 2014.

The fly-half position has been held by a number of players this season, but Rush is set to start his third consecutive match in that role at in-form Hertford tomorrow (2.15pm).

And having been impressed with the New Zealander — who arrived at The Haberden in January — during Bury’s return to winning ways with a 32-6 triumph at home to Barnes on Saturday, Hogg believes there is more to come from Rush as he racks up a consecutive run of starts.

“We’ve laid the challenge down to Jesse — we want him to go in there and make that jersey his own,” said Hogg. “He’s played two consecutive games now and Jesse is a player that if he gets a run of games and a bit of confidence he becomes a very good player.

“There was a big improvement in how he managed the game on Saturday and hopefully he will raise the bar again.”

Having recovered from back-to-back defeats with a bonus-point triumph over Barnes, Bury enter this weekend in the playoff berth in second in the table.

However, sixth-placed Hertford have won their last six matches on the bounce and sit just a bonus-point victory behind their visitors from Suffolk.

“It’s going to be a very difficult one because Hertford had a big win on Saturday and are one of the form teams in the league,” said Hogg. “They have strung a few wins together back-to-back and it’s a difficult place to go because of their big sloping pitch.

“We’re fully focused and if we can get another win then it will put us in a good position going into the Christmas break.”

Bury expect to welcome scrum-half Scott Lewis (hip) and former skipper Matt Edison (wedding) back into their squad, while Aaron Waters (ankle) is back in training, but Matt Jones (hand) remains sidelined.

With players coming back into contention, Hogg is optimistic about his side maintaining their promotion push through the second half of the season, which begins tomorrow against a side they defeated 43-21 in their first home outing of the season back in September.

“We’re glad we’re up to second and pretty positive for the second half of the season because we’ve got a few of those sides coming here. If we can get another win before Christmas, it will set us up fantastically.”