Horsham learn fixture list for next season
The new fixtures for London 1 South have been announced for the 2021-22 season bringing a great deal of excitement to Horsham’s players and supporters, writes Richard Ordidge.
The Green and Whites open their league season on September 4 with a trip to Guildford, which will be a strong test of their ambitions.
Despite being near-neighbours the two clubs have never faced each other before in league action due to the Surrey club always having been in higher leagues until now.
The following week Horsham host Chichester in the first of two Sussex derbies, the other being Haywards Heath following their promotion as champions from London 2 South East, which will provide additional local interest.
The Green and Whites will be seeking to avenge their narrow 39-30 defeat at Chichester in their opening fixture of the 2019-20 campaign.
Horsham have never faced half of the sides before in a league fixture. The most mouth-watering new opposition are London Welsh, a side famous for fielding British & Irish Lions and Welsh international players in the 1960’s and 1970’s before they struggled with the advent of professional rugby.
As we near the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Lions, London Welsh remarkably provided seven representatives for that famous tour to New Zealand.
London Welsh are bouncing back and will provide formidable opposition having been promoted as champions of London 2 North West and then moved sideways into London 1 South for geographical reasons to even up the numbers in the league.
They firmly expect and are geared up for their stay in London 1 South to be temporary.
Another side the Green and Whites will be facing for the first time in league action with a powerful reputation is London Irish Wild Geese, the amateur team of London Irish.
With London Irish Wild Geese having been relegated from the London & SE Premier League they will be looking to quickly bounce back to the higher echelons of the game.
Horsham have met Hammersmith & Fulham in the National Cup but never before in league action, whilst their only encounter with Farnham was in the play-off in April 2019 to secure promotion to London 1 South which the Green and Whites won 44-17 on a memorable day.
Farnham made no mistake the following year being promoted from London 2 South West as champions and are joined by Battersea Ironsides as runners-up in another first league encounter for Horsham.
The remaining sides in the league are all familiar foes namely Cobham, KCS Old Boys, London Cornish, Camberley and Medway with the latter two clubs sure to be amongst the favourites for promotion again.