There were a few new faces when Hornets gathered for their pre-season training at Leicester Road recently. Director of Rugby Scott Hamilton and his team have been working hard over the summer to strengthen the Club’s playing resources in readiness for the coming season which the Club is hopeful will see them secure promotion to National 1.
‘We have been lucky to retain the vast majority of last season’s squad,’ commented Hamilton, ‘but we have also managed to bring in a number of new signings which will give us that strength in depth in a number of key positions which we were lacking last season. We put in some good performances last year but ultimately we were disappointed with our final position. This year, expectations are higher and, whereas a good squad doesn’t guarantee good performances, I do feel that the players we now have give us a great chance of realising our promotion ambitions.’
One familiar face returning to the Hornets is Will Cave. Cave played with the Hornet’s U14’s alongside a number of other members of the current first team squad before moving on to Lutterworth and Nuneaton. Cave joins from South Leicester where he has been plying his trade as a Centre cum Wing for six seasons. ‘This will be a great move for me. I live locally and love the community spirit down here. My son is planning to join the mini sides and I love the family feel that the Hinckley Club has.’
Sam Smith joins from Moseley and is looking to join a tight knit club who have significant ambitions. Scott has previously worked with Sam at Coventry and had him earmarked last year as a key recruit which wasn't to be however Scott has finally got his man!
Also joining from South Leicester is hooker Adam Johnson. ‘I’ve been with South for 2 seasons now after finishing my degree at Loughborough and I spent a year playing in New Zealand prior to that. I’ve been impressed both by the ambition here and there is little doubt that Hinckley are one side that all the others in the division fear. The Club is better organised and much more professional in it’s approach then anything I’ve experienced to date but it has still managed to retain it’s one-club culture.’
Ex-Army back-row man Alex Tansley is of similar mind. Tansley, who joins from Rugby Lions and lists wining the County Championship final with Leicestershire earlier in the year as one of his career highlights, explained, ‘It’s a tight knit rugby community here and the facilities are as good as anything I’ve seen. It’s the biggest Club in Leciestershire now after the Tigers but it has still retained its community ethos.’
Winger James Neal makes up a trio of ex-South players joining the Hornets. Neal was named as part of the Coventry Rugby Development Academy last season but was loaned out to South. This year he has cut his ties with both Coventry and South to come to Leicester Road.
Andy Weaver and Adam Nunney were both playing for Birmingham Solihull last season in National 2 South and faced each other in the early stages of the County Championship this year, Nunney turning out for Leicestershire while Weaver donned the Warwickshire shirt. Inside Centre Nunney also spent time at South Leicester, partnering Will Cave on a number of occasions. Lock Weaver has played National 1 rugby with Coventry and Scott Hamilton was quoted as saying it took him all of five minutes to decide that Weaver was the right man for Hornets .
The new signings are completed by tight head prop Sam Greening, who joins from near neighbours Nuneaton. Greening came through the Nuneaton Colts side and was a regular last season. He also appeared for Warwickshire in the 2018 County Championship final.
Hornets kick-off their season with a home friendly against Burton on August 17 (admission is free, kick-off 3.00). Their first League encounter is against Wirral based side Caldy on September 7 at Leicester Road, kick-off 3.00.
Season tickets are now available priced at £90 and full membership packages are priced at £110. The Club is also offering for the first time a Flexi-season ticket which offers 10 match day admissions for £60 and is not limited to a single user. Full details are available on the Club website or by contacting Lucy Flatters on 07970 966590.
Pre-match lunch packages are available for all home games priced at £250 for 10 people. To book a table, see the Club website or contact Lucy.
To purchase season tickets click here or visit the club or the Cream Rooms.