Preparations for the coming season at Leicester Road are going well, according to Hinckley RFC’s Director of Rugby, George Chuter.
After challenging for the title for much of last season, a fifth place finish felt a little like a disappointment at the time, but, on reflection, the campaign represented another massive step forward for the club and bodes well for the new campaign. ‘We did fall away a little at the end of the season but overall it was a great season for us and we are looking forward to building further on that foundation,’ commented Chuter.
‘The lads have come back refreshed and enthusiastic after the summer break and are all looking forward to the new season. National 2 is a tough league to win but I see no reason why we can’t do so with the squad we have put together’.
‘We have retained pretty well all the players from last season while also strengthening the team in a number of key areas. James Moreton has joined us from Broad Street and gives us a little more strength in depth in the second row. We’ve signed a couple of ambitious young lads at half back in Rory Vowles and Ben Pointon, and Ryan Hough will give us options in the three-quarters. Josh Greatrix is a big mobile hooker who was previously with Moseley and Leeds Beckett and with James Martin returning after a season in New Zealand, we’re well set for the new campaign’.
Captain Alex Salt agrees. ‘We’ve made a number strong additions to the squad and I’m pleased to say the new lads have all settled in well. Our first league game of the season is against Tynedale who will be as tough a start as they come but so far all pre-season preparations are going well’. Last season was a personal triumph for Salt. He was top try-scorer and topped a tremendous season by being named in ‘The Rugby Paper’ team of the year.
New signing Josh Greatrix was very positive about his move. ‘I’m impressed. Hinckley are a very welcoming Club and I like the set-up. I can’t wait to get out there!’
Asked who might prove the main challengers in the division in the coming campaign, Chuter thought new boys Peterborough Lions might prove a dark horse. “Stourbridge, Sedgley Park and Tynedale will be up there but I fancy Peterborough might prove a handful. Hull Ionians have come down from National 1 and will also prove a tough ask. That said, this is a very competitive division and you can’t take any team lightly.”
‘We have Tynedale up first in the League. They are one of the most entertaining teams in the league and I’m expecting a great game. We did the double on them last year but they finished above us in the League. They have a new Director of Rugby in Ben Woods who I know well from my playing days at Tigers, and the team will be anxious to show their new boss what they are capable of.’
The season kicks off this coming Saturday with a warm-up game at home against newly promoted National 1 outfit, Cinderford. Kick-off is at 3.00. Hornets will then visit Loughborough Students on 18 August before rounding off the pre-season against Canterbury at home on 25 August. Tynedale visit on 1 September.
Updated 10:52 - 14 Aug 2018 by John Tilley