Horsham Rugby Club’s 1sts begin their new league campaign today (Saturday) when they host newly promoted Burgess Hill (3pm at Coolhurst).
Having completed a highly encouraging pre-season with a thumping 72-0 demolition of Old Mid-Whitgiftians last weekend the club has targeted promotion to London South East Division 2.
A new coaching team headed by Nick Stocker is in place, assisted by forwards coach Barry Hillicks and backs coach Richard Bell. Stocker said: “In pre-season we have concentrated on both individual skills and team cohesion and the players have responded well.
“We have been strengthened by Mike Power and Nick Essex returning to the club, Paddy Smith coming back after university, and Rich Brooker and Lee Taylor joining us from Holbrook.
“We have retained the players we had whilst we hope to add still further to the squad over the next few weeks.
“Pre-season has gone really well and we have had encouraging performances against three sides in leagues higher than us and competed well, played at their level and coped with their greater physicality.
“If we play to the best of our ability week in week out I firmly believe that our 1st XV will be in the mix and competing for honours at the end of the season, and the aim for our 2nd and 3rd XV’s is promotion.
“There is a real momentum about the club at the moment. The new coaching team has added to the mix and the players are clearly feeding from the positive environment off the field, and we look well placed for a memorable season.”
Meanwhile Pulborough begin life back in the Sussex leagues with a home game against Eastbourne.