HEAD coach Will Croker backed Bournemouth’s decision to take out team insurance across their senior set-up.

Lions have invested around £4,000 to protect their players following the injury sustained by Toby Kenneally on the opening day of the South West Premier campaign.

Lock forward Kenneally was stretchered off with a broken ankle after just nine minutes of Lions’ home defeat to Newbury Blues in September.

And Croker, also director of rugby for the Chapel Gate side, is fully behind the club’s investment.

He told the Daily Echo: “After what happened to Toby, we have looked into ways of making sure we can look after our players better.

“We are not in a position to pay them, which means the likes of Toby, who is a self-employed tree-surgeon, effectively didn’t have income. This was something we didn’t feel comfortable with.

“Of course, the argument would be that they should go out and get player insurance. But if you are a young guy who is self-employed, finding that money for insurance is quite a lot.

“What we have done is we have taken out a new RFU insurance and, effectively, it is a little more than £1,000 per team.

“It covers any of the 18 players who happen to be in the squad on any given Saturday.

“The club have taken the decision to cover all four teams.

“It’s a really important thing for us to make sure those guys, who throw their bodies into all sorts of horrible physical predicaments in the name of Bournemouth Rugby, are looked after.

“It’s something we were aware of and Toby’s injury was the defining moment.”

Bournemouth host second-bottom Lydney on Saturday (3pm).

Croker added: "We have a run of fixtures where we play a few of the sides in the bottom four places.

"It is about converting the expectation. The pressure has switched to us and people will be expecting us to win these games.

"We have to make sure there is no complacency and that we execute. It's not enough to scrape a win."

Lions: Hancox, Davis, Gleadowe, Chislett, Everett-Bolter, Davies, Hardcastle, Fraser, Manning, Firetto, Napier, MacDonald, Sharp, Bennett, Rees. Replacements: McDonald, Stevens, Sutherland.